Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2001

In my capacity as lead roundtable commissioner for our Boy Scout district I wrote this as an opening for today's monthly meeting of adult leaders:

Good evening, and welcome to Roundtable.

It has been seven years to the day since the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and The Pentagon. Tuesday, September 11, 2001 was our regularly scheduled Roundtable at St. Andrews Lutheran Church, and the anniversary of those horrifying events falls once again on the day of Roundtable.

I think we were all in a state of shock, sadness, and anger that day and in the following days, but those of us who were Scout leaders soon remembered the importance of what we were called to do. We redoubled our efforts to be effective leaders as we provided a program that helped boys make the transition to manhood. This Scouting program has aims in three areas: character development, citizenship training, and physical and mental fitness.

The boys who were 11-17 years old in 2001 are now men ranging from 18-24. They are in college or beginning a career, or they may be starting a family. And some have taken the lessons they learned as Scouts and enlisted in the military.

Why would a young man choose such a path? We do not have a draft. They could stay in school, work at their jobs, or remain with their families – all valid choices – and the lessons they learned in Scouting would still serve them well.

But there are other lessons they learn as Scouts, and among them is that their freedom was purchased at a price paid by their forebears, and that to remain free also has its cost. Accordingly, some chose a path that is neither easy nor safe. They have helped provide humanitarian relief in natural disasters. They have provided logistical support for such scouting events as jamborees. They have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. And some have paid the ultimate price in service to freedom and their country.

Regardless of how we may feel as individuals about our country’s war on terrorism, we can all be united in our gratitude, respect, and admiration for the boys we saw grow into men over the past decade. And we can feel confident that whatever the circumstances that life dishes out to us, the boys who were in Boy Scouts are well-prepared to meet those challenges.

Scouting makes a difference!


Stushie said...

Excellent, Denis. You captured the spirit perfectly.

Denis Hancock said...

Thanks. My boy is 15 about to turn 16. That makes him two years away from being a man (for most purposes). The transition is so fast.