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ST. LOUIS—General Colin Powell challenged the Sanford N. and W. Randall McDonnell Eagle Scout Class of 2011 to continue serving others during the inaugural Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel on Wednesday, April 4, 2012.
“Yours is now a life of service,” Powell said in a video presentation during the Greater St. Louis Area Council’s event. “You have demonstrated that with your dedication to Scouting and with the accomplishment of your Eagle Scout credentials. But remember to take that spirit of service—of giving to others—into the future. Do it throughout your life.”
General Powell also paid tribute to the late Sanford N. McDonnell, his wife, Priscilla, and son, Randy. Powell and the McDonnell family worked together on many character education initiatives. He first met Sanford McDonnell as a soldier and as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“But that isn’t all he was—just someone who made those kinds of weapons,” Powell said. “He also made other kinds of weapons—weapons that will make this a better world and a better country and a better community in St. Louis. Those weapons had to do with living a life of goodness, believing in the Scout Oath, believing in the laws that guide Scouting.”
William H. Danforth, chancellor emeritus of Washington University in St. Louis, and Charles G. Schott, managing director of Charles Schott & Associates, presented, respectively, the first Soaring Eagle Awards to Sandy and Randy McDonnell. Both are Eagle Scouts. When Sanford McDonnell died on March 19, 2012, his son said it was his father’s wish for the event to continue as planned. Sanford McDonnell recorded a video message that was played during the event that recognized 569 young men who in 2011 earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America.
Approximately 4 percent of Scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout. Boy Scouts must earn 21 merit badges, serve in several troop leadership positions and display leadership by conducting a community service project. The Greater St. Louis Area Council serves more than 58,000 young people throughout 37 counties in eastern Missouri and southern Illinois. More than 14,000 adult volunteer leaders provide programs and activities that teach leadership and build character in young people ages 6 through 21.
Transcript of Colin Powell's Remarks