I earned my Eagle Scout in 1984. Decades later, it is amazing how many problems in life are resolved by turning to the Scout law that every Scout knows by heart: a Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. Consider what a service this proud organization is doing for our nation by instilling these values in millions of Scouts who probably don’t hear much about these traits in schools these days. Imagine how much greater our nation would be if every young man followed these rules.
We live in an age of vanishing shared experience. Americans have different places to find news and different places to find music. The ties that bind us are corroding, and this is not good for our nation. But every four years, Scouts from sea to shining sea descend on the Washington, D.C., area for the jamboree. These Scouts preserve the “mystic chords of our memory,” as Lincoln more than once called the living history that binds our nation. He called these shared experiences the “pillars of the temple of liberty,” subject to crumbling unless we supply new pillars from time to time to keep the temple upright.
I saw hundreds of Scouts in Union Station last week. They were an amazing sight. Their exuberance, character, and love of America are on display for anyone to see this week at the jamboree. They are the real hope for America. It’s a shame our president can’t pay them a short visit and learn more about the great importance of Scouting.