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Outgoing Surgeon General Addresses Grandson’s Graduation

June 8, 1989

UPPER DEERFIELD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) _ If Surgeon General C. Everett Koop wanted a big audience for a speech about the perils of drugs, smoking and alcohol, he could have done better than the 11 eighth-graders at Bridgeton Christian School.

But he might not have found as appreciative an audience as the graduating class of his grandson, C. Everett Koop II.

Koop arrived with his grandson, known as Charlie, to deliver the school’s commencement address Wednesday night at Deerfield Presbyterian Church, where Koop’s son Norman is the pastor.

″Is this really your grandfather? He’s really here 3/8″ said Myisha Thompson.

Noting that most of the eight-graders will be going to larger schools, Koop said some classmates may say it is ″cool not to go to church or Sunday school″ or that it is ″macho to smoke″ or say to the girls ″you won’t have boyfriends unless you are what the boys want you to be.″

″Recognize that your own life has value, that it cannot be replaced and should not be compromised or shortened through any risky behavior,″ Koop told the graduates.

Koop, 72, will retire in October.

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