As America prepares to give tribute to our fallen heroes on Memorial Day, Trail Life USA CEO Mark Hancock encourages all Americans to honor our veterans, and reaffirms Trail Life’s dedication to inspire patriotism and build character in boys across America.
Hancock said, "Too often, instead of exalting men from their significant contributions, our culture is dismissing the heroism of fathers and forefathers and choosing instead to emphasize their shortcomings. But Theodore Roosevelt correctly pointed out that, 'Freedom from effort in the present merely means that there has been stored up effort in the past... Thank God for the iron in the blood of our forefathers.'"
"At Trail Life USA, we teach about the character, faith, fortitude, and pioneering spirit of the men and women that made America great. We instill character, honor, and a sense of duty to God and others. Roosevelt continues, 'No one can be a good American unless he is a good citizen, and every boy ought to train himself so that as a man he will be able to do his full duty to the community... [to] act in a way that will give them a country to be proud of.' These principles are foundational to the mission of Trail Life USA."
"Every year on Memorial Day, Trailmen across America honor those in our military, both active and retired, who put their lives on the line to defend our country and our freedom. We hold those men and women in the highest esteem. Whether marching in a parade, cleaning a monument, serving meals, or working with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, young men are engaging with veterans, learning about our heritage, and honoring the proud legacy of our country."
"The Traill Life USA oath begins with the words, 'On my Honor.' As boys engage with our veterans and witness character in their leaders, they come to understand the meaning of honor as it is lived out before them. The oath they take to 'do my best to serve God and my country; To respect authority; To be a good steward of creation; And to treat others as I want to be treated' takes on new meaning. As boys see an honorable example of masculinity lived out before them, they grown to become honorable men."
Hancock concluded, "Here at Trail Life, we challenge boys to grow as courageous men of character as they discover, learn, and grow through outdoor adventure and intentional mentoring. We think that the drive and daring of boys is exactly what's responsible for producing winning, determined, respectful, honoring men, and we are proud to foster that in boys across America."