In our American history, we are fortunate to have many freedom symbols which have special meaning to American citizens. Tonight I would like to tell you a little about one of these symbols as we honor those boys who are advancing along the Cub Scouting trail.
The Statue of Liberty stands 305 feet high in New York Harbor, welcoming people of other lands to become citizens of our democracy. The statue was given to the United States by France as a token of friendship. Each year hundreds of tourists go to see Miss Liberty. The inscription at the base of this statue was written by Emma Lazarus, and reads in part: "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free; the wretched refuse of your teeming shores; send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door". There is a golden door to Scouting which is open to all boys. By walking through that door to Scouting, boy has an opportunity to grow in many ways and learn about citizenship, character and physical fitness. The boys who wish to walk through that door to Scouting tonight are (read names). Will you and your parents please come forward. (Continue with regular Bobcat induction). Our American flag is much more than the red, white and blue cloth of which it is made. It is the symbol of America. It stands for the past, the present and the future of our country. When we show respect for the flag, we are showing respect for all that is America..our land, our people, our way of life. When the 13 original colonies set out to become a free country nearly 200 years ago, their men and women needed a rallying point ‑ a flag. "We will take the stars and blue union from heaven", the great George Washington is reported to have said, "red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing liberty". Respect for the flag is one of the requirements for a boy to earn the Wolf rank. Tonight we have some boys who have completed all these requirements. (call boys and parent forward and present badges and cards).
The Declaration of Independence is one of many documents which established freedom in America. It was on July 4, 1776, that the Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and announced the separation of the 13 colonies from England. In America, we have a government of the people, by the people and for the people.. not for just some of them, but for all people...the people to whom the Declaration of Independence refers when it says "all men are created equal", not equally talented or equally rich, but equal under law, and under God. All Scouts have an equal opportunity to advance in rank and earn badges. The following boys have earned Arrow Points to wear under the Wolf badge. (call boys and parents forward to receive awards).
One of the most beloved of our freedom symbols is the Liberty Bell. The Liberty Bell was rung in 1776 calling the people of Philadelphia to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. During the British occupation of Philadelphia, the bell was hidden beneath the floor of the Zion Reformed Church in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Sixty years later, as the bell was tolled for the death of Chief Justice John Marshall, it cracked. Since that time it has been on display in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, for all Americans to see. The bell is old, but the crack is plain to see, along with this inscription: "Proclaim liberty thought the land". A study of our American Heritage is one of the twelve requirements for a boy to earn the Bear badge. The following boys will receive that badge tonight.