Sunday, March 12, 2017

103 A National High School Graduation

In the spring of 1948, the National Association of Secondary School Principals chose Gettysburg High School for a singular honor. Commencement exercises on June 1 that year were broadcast coast to coast over a network of Mutual stations of WOR, New York. The ceremony was referred to as the National High School Graduation.

The speaker, Dr. David E. Lilienthal, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, gave an address titled, Youth in the Atomic Age. Following World War II which ended after atomic bombs were detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, Lilienthal was chairman of a committee that advised President Harry Truman on the position of the United States in the Atomic Age. 


In his speech to the graduating seniors, Lilienthal was optimistic about future generations living in the Atomic Age "in which there is less suffering, less poverty, less misery."


"The Atomic Age can become an age of mercy, of joy and hope, one of the most blessed periods in all of history," he concluded.


Nancy and I wonder how Dr. Lilienthal would view the current Atomic Age in which there are believed to be 16,3000 nuclear weapons in nine countries including North Korea led by Kim Jong Un considered one of the world's most dangerous men.


We wonder how optimistic Dr. Lilienthal would be about the future of the would he be about the future of the world if he had foreseen a bomb 3,3000 times more powerful than those that fell on Jan in 1945?


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