SUMMIT, NJ - There has been a tremendous response from the Summit High School (SHS) class of 1964 to a unique opportunity for them to speak to today’s Summit High School senior students on a subject that the class of 1964 experienced firsthand.
Five graduates of the Summit High School Class of 1964 will participate in a panel discussion at the school detailing how the Vietnam War impacted their lives.
This panel discussion is not on the war itself, but rather on the impact the war had on these graduates’ personal lives. Part of the talk will focus on each participants’ experiences and how their lives were changed by the war. The panel is not purely made up of those who served in Vietnam, although it will include three veterans who did serve. “This is a timely topic, in so many ways, as it correlates to the recent wars in which the United States has participated,” said Michael Vernotico, a member of the SHS 50th Class Reunion Committee who is spearheading the program in conjunction with the high school staff. “Additionally, it seems that there is no end in sight to the global conflicts this young generation is facing, and sadly, many of today’s children may be similarly impacted as we were,” Vernotico added. “We felt that today’s students might gain some direct insight from some of our graduates who have been through a war during our youth.”
The five panelists include two women - one who lost her high school sweetheart in the war and still has his love letters, and one who was married to an enlisted man and lived on a base and gave birth to their first child on a base during the war - two veterans who served directly in Vietnam, and one veteran who served stateside in the Navy. “It should prove to be a lively discussion, and the students will be encouraged to ask questions and participate,” Vernotico explained.
The class of 1964 graduated from Summit High School 50 years ago this year and. to commemorate this milestone, the reunion committee has been busy planning a special 50th Reunion Weekend October 10 - 12. The weekend will kick off with some graduates participating in the Summit High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame event on October 9, at which the class of 1964’s football team -- Summit’s first undefeated and untied team -- as well as 1964 graduate, Johnny Mallory, will be honored.
Other events scheduled for include:
- Career Day events of the day at the High School
- Evening gathering at the Summit home of a graduate
- Luncheon at the high school, and a tour of the facility
- The Summit Varsity Football game
- Celebration party Saturday night at the Grand Summit Hotel
- Farewell continental breakfast Sunday at the Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School
For more information about the Summit High School Class of 1964 50th Reunion, visit summit1964.net.