Congratulations Class of 1972

Each year, people celebrate the anniversary of our graduation from high schools and colleges. The high school commemorations are, perhaps, most poignant for we may well have spent 12 years in school with many of those students… or even 13 years if we also went to kindergarten together.

This is the year for my high school class to celebrate our 50th. We graduated nearly 200 students from Goffstown High School in New Hampshire. We were the Redskins (now the more “PC” Grizzlies), enjoying success in everything from athletics and academics to theatre and music.

Upon graduation, our chosen Class Motto was “We go forward to a great perhaps,” from a quote by poet Francois Rabolais. Rather than celebrating where we had been, it referenced the start of a great adventure with great unknown results. Interestingly, as adults we learn that each decision, each step, and even each day carries the same opportunity.

Our class song now seems even more appropriate, indicating how slowly we humans tend to evolve. While we represented the generation championing independent thinking and encouragement of diversity and differences, we were in the midst of great social change, many protests, and the Vietnam War. Heralding from the 1968 Off-Broadway musical revue, “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris,” the lyrics of our Class Song seem every bit as poignant 50 years later, as Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine reminds us of man’s inhumanity to man.

“If we only have love
Then tomorrow will dawn
And the days of our years
Will rise on that morn

If we only have love
To embrace without fears
We will kiss with our eyes
We will sleep without tears

If we only have love
With our arms open wide
Then the young and the old
Will stand at our side

If we only have love
Love that’s falling like rain
Then the parched desert earth
Will grow green again

If we only have love
For the hymn that we shout
For the song that we sing
Then we’ll have a way out

If we only have love
We can reach those in pain
We can heal all our wounds
We can use our own names

If we only have love
We can melt all the guns
And then give the new world
To our daughters and sons

If we only have love
Then Jerusalem stands
And then death has no shadow
There are no foreign lands

If we only have love
We will never bow down
We’ll be tall as the pines
Neither heroes nor clowns

If we only have love
Then we’ll only be men
And we’ll drink from the Grail
To be born once again
Then with nothing at all
But the little we are
We’ll have conquered all time
All space, the sun, and the stars”

So, as with all of us, the Class of ’72 has endured 50 years filled with love and losses, successes and failures, magic moments, and much mayhem. Many of us are gone. Many of us remain. The paths that we followed and the trails that we blazed still remain. The lives that we have touched reflect the ever-widening ripples of time. While we humans still have a long way to grow, we can and should celebrate the great ride we have and do experience… always.

Bravo, many thanks, and much love to all.

(Photo from Goffstown’s 1972 Nisa’tin yearbook)

About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 20+ books, and counting! A professional voice-over artist, dedicated foodie, and lifelong corporate communications geek, Cathy Burnham Martin has enjoyed a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with her husband, Ron Martin, she has passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. Cathy often says, "I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun."
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