"It has been said that no other consecutive three year period in our lives shapes us or has had the impact on us as our three years in high school. We are each other's glue. We are intricately bound by the sheer fact of our togetherness at our most impressionable ages.
"What binds us together is that regardless of where we fit in or didn't fit in, when we shed our differences at a pep rally or an assembly in the auditorium, when we loved and admired our teachers, or were there for each other, we were forming our foundations for how we would handle life in the 'big outside world' with our grown-up relationships and our grown-up jobs. Let's remember for a moment how it was:
"It's 1967 and we hear the Monkees on the radio, Gunsmoke is on our black and white TVs, and gas is 30 cents a gallon. You came to school in your '67 Ford Mustang, or you hopped off the bus. Whether you enthusiastically raised your hand in class hoping you'd get called on, or you sat in silence hoping you wouldn't....
"Whether you had a posse of friends and a guaranteed spot in the cafeteria, or you walked in alone with a firm grip on your tray while you scanned the room for a seat.....
"Whether you practiced on a chilly fall day for the homecoming parade, or you were a star on the field, or you were one of us cheering from the stands, or you didn't attend at all.....
"We all had our teenage angst... a missed grade... a missed invitation to the prom... a missed chance on the honor roll... a missed smile from that certain someone, or a missed basket or touchdown. We worried about having the right outfit, cologne, car, or date. Our SAT scores were a big deal, as was who was dating whom and who were we playing on the football field.
"Today, whether you've gained fame and financial success or not, we can give back in our own ways. Whether you have touched the lives of the world through your artistic, literary, political, or musical talents... or you recently took a casserole to your next door neighbor, or sang a lullaby to your grandbaby, or helped a friend in need and felt your circle of kindness was small... you have made a difference in their lives! In school you may have been called jock, brain, nerd, geek, popular, gearhead, or hood, and hung out at the smoking bench or the teacher's parking lot AKA "the Pit", or were a very quiet member of our LGBT family. No matter how we belonged, we did belong! However we felt shaped and defined us then.