As I get older, I find myself using reflection more often. It was a skill that I first learned at Wood Badge and has served me well throughout my life and career. There is great value to be found in reflecting on experiences and decisions.
A couple of weeks ago, we lost a local father and Navy Veteran to cancer. He left behind a young family and a circle of friends and family who feel the tremendous loss of a wonderful human being. I was his Scoutmaster when he earned his Eagle Scout award in 2001. I find myself reflecting on our days spent camping, hunting, or in later days, enjoying a beverage after work. So how does one cope with a loss like that?
Today, I am reflecting on two things.
First and most importantly is the value of Memorial Day to all of us. Every single person reading this has been significantly impacted by our veterans. On Memorial Day, we pause to recognize those who will never receive another handshake, hug or kiss, my thoughts are with them and their families for their commitment and sacrifice. Those of us who have never served will never truly comprehend their commitment.
I believe to my core that one thing that separates our great nation from so many others is our willingness to serve others. Those who died in service deserve our eternal appreciation.
The second is the way our organization embraces service to others. Scouts are the first ones you find marching in a Memorial Day Parade, placing flags on Veterans graves, or participating in a wreath ceremony. We do these without seeking compensation or recognition. We do it because it is the right thing to do and it matters to those who cannot say thank you.
This is the epitome of service to others. These are the things that cement my belief in the next generation of leaders for our communities and our country.
So, how does one honor the passing of loved ones? Aspire to rise every day and serve others the best way we can. It is an honorable life when it is spent in the service of others. Use this day to do the things that some are unable to.
Thank you all for serving others.
Deputy Scout Executive