September 28 – Happy Birthday Michael Lynch

31713_Lynch_Michael_DOB_19482I entered Amsterdam’s Wilbur Lynch High School as a sophomore in September of 1969. Just six months before that, a graduate of that school had been killed in Vietnam. He was an Army medic in the 5th Infantry and on March 15, 1969, his mechanized unit was on patrol between Cu Chi and Tay Ninh, South Vietnam when, their convoy of Armored Patrol Carriers was ambushed by the enemy. When the two lead vehicles were hit with rocket-propelled grenades, this young hero from Amsterdam rushed to help and as he was bending down to assist a wounded soldier he was hit by small arms fire and killed. His name was Michael Lynch.

Michael Lynch had been an active member of the school’s Drama Club, serving as its President in 1966 and appearing in several of the Club’s productions during his high school years. I remember as a kid going to see Camelot in 1966 and being absolutely amazed at how professional the whole thing was. It was hard to believe you were sitting in a high school auditorium and not in some theater on Broadway. That’s how good the actors, actresses, musicians and stage crew performed. Michael Lynch played the absent-minded King Pellinore in that production and he was so good I still remember him in that role today, almost fifty years later.

Bert DeRose, the Drama Club’s advisor described Michael as being someone who acted much older than he was…

You can read the rest of my story about this Amsterdam hero in my new book “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays.” To order your copy, click here.


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