advancing honor finale

We honor the pioneers, who did what everyone said could not be done. Our freedom, that we have today, once rested on the shoulders of men and women like the first American settlers, who took the journey of initiative across the sea to land on freedom in the middle of winter.

They could have given up.  They just did the hard thing.

Our way of life, that we enjoy today, once rested on the resolve of one man, Thomas Edison, who lost everything, all of his experiments, all of his notes, when his complex burned to the ground.  He could have thrown in the towel.  Thomas Edison said, “Although I am over 67 years old, I’ll start all over again tomorrow…I will go right to work…There’s only one thing to do and that is to jump right in and rebuild.”

American Idol Finalist Phil Stacey Performed

Our values, that we share today, once rested on the bravery of a movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr., who stood locked arm in arm with hundreds of thousands at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

Tonight, we support our troops, who are currently serving our country. You are honor. We honor our veterans, who stood in freedom’s hour of need.  You represent the strength and values of our country.

When I think about my grandpa, a 98 year old World War II veteran born in 1912, I see what made America great; I see an era we must keep.

Veterans, you were willing to take a bullet as a shield for the safety of your family and the freedom of your fellow citizens. You are honor. We remember the men and women, who died in service to their country and her freedom, and we honor their families. When you stand in Arlington National Cemetery, and you see the price of freedom, you realize that honor can only be bestowed through actions; words are simply not enough. The wife left behind to raise her child, the child who never met his dad remind us that freedom is not free. You are honor.

To all of you, we say, Thank You.

Tonight, we take the baton of your honor and pass it on to our children. We empower the next generation to never give up, to be the next great pioneer, to always stand for what you believe in. Follow your dreams. You can do it. We hope, that every time you walk in this place, you think of what we did here on 5-27-11, Advancing Honor.


York, 2011

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