The Greater Amsterdam board of education is currently entertaining a proposal submitted by Bert DeRose to name a school theater in honor of Michael Lynch, who was graduated from W.H. Lynch Senior High School back in the 1960s, the decade many social commentators feel was the beginning of the unraveling of American society, beginning with the assassination of then President John F. Kennedy.
Following a New York City visit to see "The Impossible Dream" musical Man of La Mancha, Mike stated his intent to put his college studies on hold and join the armed forces. His mission was to help. Though posted in Germany, he volunteered for service in Vietnam at a time when many were seeking any kind of deferment.
He drove an ambulance and dedicated himself to healing.
Most of the news this weekend has been focused on the mass shooting at the elementary school in Newton, Conn. Everyone says it is a horror no one could imagine.
Michael did not imagine this kind of horror. He witnessed it regularly, long before media sources brought it up close into our living rooms. He died in this service from what is euphemistically termed "friendly fire."
Bert's drama kids have a not-so-impossible dream where Mike's name graces a theater where he graced productions of Camelot, Mary Poppins, The Miracle Worker, and so many others. Near the entrance would be his picture and an account of his service, not just to his country, but to other people. He set a good example, both on-stage and off, by simply trying to do the right thing. Our hope is that a young person will see his name and ask, Who is this? And, Why?
And then be inspired to do the same.
We ask those of you who remember Michael Lynch please contact the board and support this proposal.
Edward C. Schwartz,