As I have mentioned before, my ten year old daughter Danielle is in the Young Marines. One of the steps in the Young Marine program is Junior Leadership School, two weekends of drill and classroom training on leadership. Danielle was nominated by her unit’s leadership to go to the training and did very well. As part of the training she was required to do an oral report on one of the fourteen characteristics of leadership and she chose to do endurance. Her instructors were so impressed that they asked her to do her speech at the Memorial Day ceremony at The National Vietnam War Museum in Orlando, The Bunker, on Sunday, May 24th. Danielle accepted, but as the day approached she got nervous and wanted to back out. Her mother and I did not let her back out because we believe that once you make a commitment you honor that commitment. It was also important to us that she understand what an honor it was for her to be invited to speak at this event that honors those that serve or have served our great country in the military.
The ceremony included presentation of the colors, invocation, Danielle’s speech, Young Marine Recruit graduation, placing of the wreath, The Last Patrol, and Convocation. There were about 100 people present and, I have to say, you would never have known that Danielle was nervous when she did her speech. She spoke slowly and clearly and acted like she spoke in front of groups all the time. I had her practice with me twice during the week and she did much better on Sunday than in practice. Alice, her mother, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. Not just because she did well, but because she honored the commitment she had made, even though she did not want to do it.
Alice and I are thankful for the children that God has blessed us with and are excited to see Danielle excel.