Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Eagle Court of Honor for Sam Roe
July 22, 2004

Good morning. I am deeply honored to be here to take part in the Eagle Court of Honor for an exceptional young man, Sam Roe.

In March I received a letter from Sam’s parents, Leanne and Arne Roe. They told me Sam’s story. About his quest and journey to become an Eagle Scout, his cerebral palsy, and his insistence that there be no special consideration or accommodations for him, even though the Boy Scout program would have permitted it.

They described his courage, determination, and physical toughness in earning his swimming, hiking and climbing merit badges. Sam made the hike to Monte Cristo in the snow without any help. He was the last one back to the cars, but he made it on his own!

His parents also told of his earnest desire, conceived several years ago, of having his Court of Honor here on the flight deck of this great ship.

After learning about this remarkable young man and the words of pride and loving support from two great parents, I knew there was no place I’d rather be this morning than here aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln for Sam’s Eagle Court of Honor.

Sam, as an Eagle Scout, you are joining a very select group. Only a small percentage of young men join the Boy Scouts of America. And only two percent of those achieve the rank of Eagle. An Eagle is an exceptional person. One who is respected for his outstanding contributions to his community.

Many of our nation’s greatest leaders in government, business, science and the community are Eagle Scouts. Say you are an Eagle, and society expects more from you.

Scouting has played an important role in my life. I learned values that continue to serve me well today. Many of my closest friends are from my scouting days. I am proud to be an Eagle Scout. And I hope you stay active in scouting. Just as you looked up to older scouts when you first joined, younger scouts now look up to you. You have much to teach and share. I actually had more fun in scouting after I became an Eagle Scout.

The road to becoming an Eagle is long and hard. Earning at least 21 merit badges. Completing an extensive service project and passing a board of review. And I’m glad your service project was to benefit the Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center. My niece has cerebral palsy and has been helped by that center.

Every Eagle develops qualities during this arduous journey—qualities that help and guide you through the rest of your life. Self-reliance. Trust of self, and others. Doing things right, and doing the right thing. The importance of honor and personal integrity. Helping others and caring about them.

Sam has faced these challenges, as well as additional obstacles. Life is full of obstacles. And success is about overcoming them. But I don’t have to tell Sam that—he already knows. His example teaches us this lesson.

Sam — we are so very proud of you.

You are proof that a spirited heart, determined mind and courageous soul can accomplish anything. We look up to you in awe and with admiration.

Today we officially confer upon you the prestigious and well-deserved rank of Eagle Scout. But you have been soaring with the highest, bravest, strongest eagles your entire life. I believe you always will.

Congratulations Sam, and good luck as you pursue your next dream.

The Eagle Scout Charge:

Sam, I have the honor of giving you the Eagle Scout Charge.

The Boy Scouts of all nations constitute one of the most wholesome and significant movements in the world’s history, and you have been counted worthy of the highest rank in its membership.

All who know you rejoice in your achievement. Your position is one of honor and responsibility. You are a marked man.

As an Eagle Scout, you have assumed a solemn obligation to do your duty to God, to country and to fellow Scouts, and to mankind in general.

This is a great undertaking. As you live up to your obligations, you bring honor to yourself and to your brother scouts. When you fail, you tarnish the good name of all true and worthy Scouts.

Your responsibility goes beyond your fellow Scouts to your country and God. America has many good things to give you and your children after you; but these things depend, for the most part, on the character and leadership abilities of her citizens. You are to help her in all she needs most. She has a great past. You are here to make her future greater.

I charge you to undertake your citizenship with a solemn dedication. Be a leader, but lead only toward the best.

Lift up every task you do and every office you hold to the highest level of service to God and fellow human beings.

So live and serve, so that those who know you will be inspired to excellence.

I charge you to be among those who dedicate their skills and abilities to the common good. Build America on the solid foundation of clean living, honest work, unselfish citizenship, and reverence to God, and you will leave behind a record of which every Scout will be proud.

Congratulations Sam!

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