Friends of Scouting, Ladies and Gentlemen, and Eagle Scouts... I would like to start by saying: there are no more important people in this room than the two young men we honor here. If there were a Congressman, a United States senator, a governor, or even a chief executive officer of a FORTUNE 500 company here today, there would be no one in the room more important than our new Eagle Scouts. They are among the most important people in America.
These two new Eagle Scouts are the worthiest members of the greatest youth organization on earth, "The Boy Scouts of America." While not alone in serving the needs of children and youth, the BSA is almost the oldest and certainly the most successful. Tonight, you young men join the two percent of all Scouts who have achieved this highest and most noble goal. It is true. Of the millions of boys who have joined the Boy Scouts of America since 1910 (over the past 94 years) only TWO out of every 100 has became an Eagle Scout. By achieving the rank of Eagle Scout, each of you has proven to yourself, to your community, to your state, to your country and even to the World that you are Can Do, Will Try person. I'd like to quote, the words of Marian Wright Edelman - from her book The Measure of Our Success: A letter to My Children and Yours.' We need to teach our children -- by example -- not to be lazy, to do their homework, to pay attention to detail, to take care and pride in work, to be reliable, and not to wobble and jerk through life.
Each of us must take the initiative to create our opportunities, not waiting around for favors. We must not assume a door is closed but must push on it. We must not assume if it was closed yesterday that it's closed today.' 'Set goals and work quietly and systematically toward them. We must all resist quick-fix, simplistic answers and easy gains, which often disappear just as quickly as they come.' 'Assign yourself.
Don't wait around for your boss, your friends or your parents to direct you to do what you are able to figure out and do for yourself. Don't do just as little as you can to get by.' 'Be a can do, will try' person. As our newest Eagle Scouts, you need to understand that the happiness in a person's life is directly proportionate to that person's commitment to Excellence, regardless of the person's position in life. You both posses one of life's greatest gifts - "Dedication to Excellence" and it's important that you continue to grow this gift and never abandon it. To finish, I'd like to tell you both that I'm very proud of you and feel that because of your dedication and commitment to God and country, you will both be successful in whatever direction life takes you.
Now that you have fulfilled your goal of Eagle, it is my prayer that you set new higher goals that include serving a successful church mission.