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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Speech Given at NPHS Class of 1967 50th Reunion

Good Evening!

I'd like to thank you for giving me this moment of opportunity to address you. It's been wonderful learning what you have done, what you are doing, and what you will be doing in the future. Each and everyone of you is wonderful, and I look forward to discovering more about you during the rest of the evening.

As class president I was responsible to organise the class reunions. But how could I fulfil that responsibility living the last forty-three years abroad. I couldn't. Thankfully for all of us, others saw the need, heard our cry and responded, and we are here tonight as a result of their efforts, small and great over a long period of time.

My oldest son recently told me, "Dad, there is not much we can do to change the world. But we can make efforts wherever we are to build friendship and community. Because community promotes understanding, which promotes love, which promotes positive action in the lives of those concerned."

Therefore, as president of the NPHS class of 1967, on behalf of all the class members present and absent, we would like to present a token [a trophy] of our appreciation to the following people:

Matthew Kilpatrick
Rene Scanlan Harzula
Roger Graubard [not pictured]
Lucy Bernardi Minichino
Jo-Ann Grace Bandomer

Let's all give them a warm round of applause for all their efforts.

A friend of mine recently wrote me a note that said something to this effect: "Dennis, with all the crazy things that are happening in the world, I don't know if I'll ever see you again. So I wanted to tell you, I love you, and thanks for being my friend."[This friend has since died last week at the age of 79.]

My friend's thoughts reminded me of what the famous intellectual, Christopher Hitchens, said near the end of his life. Hitchens was at a book signing event where he met a twelve year old girl who had read all his books. He was very impressed, but he shared one thought with her in parting. He said, "Don't forget the love thing, that I was talking about tonight. Don't forget the love thing."

Here he was at the very end of his life, and Christopher Hitchens, the sceptic of sceptics, told this twelve year old girl "not to forget the love thing." His most important message for her to remember was "don't forget the love thing."

Roger Graubard
So to you my classmates and friends, I say "Remember the love thing." The Bible tells us that "he that loves, knows God for God is love."So let's apply love to every aspect of our lives. Okay?

Be happy! Be good! And remember, "It's not over 'til it's over." You might becoming into the greatest years of your life. Find purpose. Find a way to serve and help others.

My own father began volunteering at the age of 75. He started to play piano and sing with Loraine Cox's father. After my mother died my father had fallen into depression. The Cox's encouraged my dad to use his talent of music to inspire and help others. At first he didn't want to. But he ended up entertaining for thirteen years. He made lots of friends, and girlfriends and found a purpose in living.

At my father's funeral some years ago, one of the directors of one of the old folk's homes where he performed came up and talked with me. She said, "Dennis, your father asked to volunteer at our home when he was 80 years old. I thought he was crazy. I had to run a police background check on him. But he soon became the most popular event with the old folks. Of all the entertainment and volunteers who came, your father was loved the most by our residents. He was one of them and played the songs they loved. He won their hearts."

So, no matter what the future holds, your life can gain meaning and purpose, like my Dad's did in service to others. He served them and in return had his own need for fellowship and love fulfilled.

That's it for me. Build community like our Reunion Committee has done. Build friendship. Be kind and courteous even to those of differing opinions. Let the NPHS Class of 1967 continue to be a positive force for good in this weary world. Help others. Find purpose. Be thankful.

It's been great seeing you all again. Have a great night! And let's remember the love thing! [PS: If you are interested you can read my book at Dennis' Testimony. Thanks!]

1 Comments:

Dennis Edward said...

Of course, I wanted to say more than that. I really wanted to know if you've seriously had looked into the claims of the Man of Nazareth. Back in 1969, while smoking dope, I had a God experience that totally changed my life and showed me that Love was indeed the force of the universe. Three year later, after an intense search through different spiritual fountains, I found Jesus, or maybe, He found me.You can read about my search on my online book at http://fightforyourfaith.blogspot.pt/2016/10/where-is-america-in-bible-prophecy.html
Much love, Dennis

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