“Hello fellow classmates! This is Nate Fisher checking in. Can you believe it? It’s been ten years since we graduated from good old Moose Lake High School and began our new lives as we took our first steps toward adulthood.”
My son, Nate was the last graduate of the Class of 2003 to see his friends Moises Langhorst and Matt Milczark before they departed to the war in the Mideast.
Fresh out of Marine training at the base near San Diego, the two had weekend passes before deploying overseas.
They went to visit Nate who was attending San Diego State University. Little did he realize that this would be their final visit.
They spent the weekend “out on the town” enjoying many of the sights and activities that beautiful San Diego offers. They both spoke excitedly about going to college after serving their country.
But for now, Matt and Moy knew where they were going. They were off to fight a war and on the way toward manhood by way of the good old United States Marines.
The Milczarks had plenty of family history with the Marine Corps as did the Langhorsts. It was a pretty easy choice for them.
“A lot of our classmates opted for military service-Derek, Corn Dog, Josh, Jamie and Sarah are the ones I remember,” said Nate.
Thirty-some guys and gals came to the Moose Lake Park Saturday afternoon for a Pot Luck style class reunion. Judging by the amount of food, they had enough chicken, burgers and brats to feed several class reunions.
Sarah Nelson, like several of her classmates, was now married with children. She had a great reunion gift of an old photo of Matt and Moy.
While on a class camping trip she had taken a picture of the two old friends standing together. She imposed that scene on refrigerator magnets and gave one to all the classmates that showed up for the tenth reunion.
Now they could remember their two classmates who, although gone from this earth, were at the reunion in spirit and would remain in their lives forever.
The photo was taken near the end of a hiking and camping trip the class of 2003 had taken with teacher Tom Deering.
Returning from the Woods, Water and Wildlife class trip, Moy complained all the way out of the portage. His back hurt and he kept groaning about the weight of his pack. It seems while Moy was going about his business, Colt and Brandon had snuck a ten-pound boulder in his backpack.
“It was great seeing Corn Dog show up at our party down at the Muni,” said Nate.
“What about your band, El Vivo?” I asked Nate. “Any chance for you guys to get together?”
“Not this time,” Nate replied. Although lead singer Mike was around, he claimed that he lost his voice and couldn’t remember the words anyway.
Brooks was stuck at work in Duluth and Nat was living somewhere near Boulder, Colorado. Nate, Nat and Brooks still play guitar so maybe they can get it together for the twentieth reunion.
In the past ten years, the class brought several new souls into this world to help fill the huge void left by Matt and Moy.
Sarah has two boys. Mike has a boy and girl. Lindi, Laura and Rachel all have started families. Plenty of old stories were shared, especially the ones of the class heroes, Matt and Moy.
The class of 2003 reminded me of a saying by an old Mayan friend of mine. He would include this statement in his ceremonial closing prayer. “We won’t forget you. We won’t abandon you.”
Babe Ruth stated it the best of all. “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”
You can call them heroes if you wish. I like to think they were fulfilling the duty of serving their country, but if you want to make them legends, that would be cool too.
With the aid of refrigerator magnets the Class of 2003 has a daily reminder of their two classmates Matt Milczark and Moises Langhorst, United States Marine Corps, 2003-2004.