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Craig Hadden giving his speech during the 2012 Memorial Day Parade

Someone please research the full speech and put it here.

Note: There are two versions of this speech. The famous Birthday speech, and the less referenced, but ever enjoyable Memorial Day Parade speech. They are essentially the same thing, but the Birthday one is longer, and references Eagle Scouts.

Birthday SpeechEdit

Craig Hadden has historically spoken to the "Eagle Class" each year at the conclusion of the Birthday.  This "Birthday Speech" or "Eagle Court of Honor Speech" has been a constant at each Birthday celebration.  In recent years, however, others such as former Scoutmaster Mike Magnotta have taken over this responsibility, but even then much of the content of the speech and certainly the message and tone survive.

Recurring themes include:

  • The "Trail to Eagle" and beyond
    • One can look back on one's time in Scouting and see a well defined path.  The path ahead into adulthood is not so well defined.  The Eagle Scouts will be confronted with various choices in life that can take them in many directions
    • The path already traveled has several peaks and valleys, the Eagle Court of Honor being a high peak.  Ahead there are likewise peaks and valleys, many valleys deeper than ever experienced but there are also peaks that far surpass anything yet experienced in life.
    • The world is open to them, and hopefully with what Scouting, Paoli 1, and earning that Eagle has taught them, they will succeed in all their endeavors and live productive and happy lives.
  • Joining a Brotherhood
    • There is only a small group of men in the entire world that have earned this rank and also the small percentage of scouts that ever reach Eagle is noted.
      • Craig Hadden specifically names several prominent individuals, examples of good honest men (Neil Armstrong, Gerald Ford, Shane Viiiiiiiictorinoooooo! etc.).  This list ends with the naming of Paoli 1 alumni, names closer to home for the new Eagles, sometimes including new names from the Troop's newest class of Eagles.
    • Eagles have a leg up on the competition but are also held to a higher standard in life.
  • "I was an Eagle Scout" Anecdote
    • "No, you are an Eagle Scout." and "Once an Eagle, always an Eagle."
    • Eagle Scouts should live their whole lives by the Scout Oath and Law.
    • Hopefully, these new Eagles will remain as alumni in good standing and contact with their Troop.

Memorial Day SpeechEdit

After the Troop has marched in the Memorial Day Parade and attended the memorial service in Wayne, the Troop then marches an additional two miles to the St. David's Episcopal Church where Col. Clifton Lisle is buried.  After the Troop processes in silence to the former Scoutmaster's grave, Craig Hadden moves to the front of the formation by the headstone and gives a speech.

Recurring themes include:

  • Troop History
    • Col. Lisle's many contributions to the Troop.
    • Paoli 1's tradition of marching the extra two miles for this seperate memorial.
  • Service
    • Duty, honor, courage.
    • Paoli 1's war dead, for whom the Cabin is dedicated.  Their names are enshrined at the base of the flag pole and on a plaque near the wagon wheel chandelier, the lights of which represent each of their sacrifices.
    • Current conflicts oversees and the sacrifice and service of Americans in the present day.
  • "Militaristic"
    • Paoli 1's wool uniforms, strict discipline, and emphasis on marching and drill.
    • To wear it as a badge of honor on days like today rather than as disparagement the way others use it in reference to Paoli 1.

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