|Volume LVII||January 2010||Number 1|
Junior Citizens of Our Great Country
It was a warm September night when we entered the lodge in anticipation of initiating three new young members into our DeMolay chapter. Following the initiation, we moved to the dining room to celebrate and welcome our new brothers. One of the young boys, Bobby, approached me and posed an unexpected question that I rarely heard from new initiates.
"Excuse me, is being a DeMolay patriotic?" he asked quietly.
"Of course," I replied without hesitation and continued on to tell him the stories of our founding fathers. "George Washington and Benjamin Franklin were both Freemasons and were major contributors to our newly established nation. And we, as DeMolay, are like junior members of Freemasonry."
"What can I do in DeMolay to be patriotic?" was his next inquiry. I took a deep breath while I collected my thoughts.
"Patriotism is knowing your national anthem and respecting our flag, and realizing that countless men and women gave their lives so that our freedom could remain a reality. It also means giving back to those less fortunate through community service, which is a great way to help others. Our chapter has helped out The Salvation Army by packing food baskets and Christmas stockings for needy boys and girls who would go without presents at Christmas without our help. There are many military families who receive these gifts during the holiday season."
By now I was sure that he would lose interest in what I had to say, yet he remained fixated on my every word, so I continued.
"Voting in every elective opportunity is being patriotic, as the right to vote is one freedom many people have given their lives for and should never be taken for granted." Even though he did not yet have a job, I went on to explain that having a strong work ethic and remaining honest, trustworthy and reverent were all part of being a patriotic citizen. "Being patriotic means being a law-abiding citizen and taking an active role in politics to ensure that American freedoms are never breached. Standing up for what is right and protesting unjust laws in order to make our country a better place to live is the duty of every American."
"Is that all there is?" he asked, though his tone indicated he was eager to hear more. So I went on.
"Patriotism also means fighting for our freedoms and ensuring that nobody can take them away. It means supporting our veterans and saying 'thank you' for all of the sacrifices they have made for us and for our country." I went on to explain about Operation Standdown, where we collect food for homeless and disabled veterans, and what a great project it was.
"It's important to support our troops and let them know how much we appreciate what they are doing. Sending care packages is a great way to reach out to our soldiers overseas and let them know that we are thinking about them. Patriotism means being willing to stand up and fight to protect America and giving our support to our troops who are fighting now so that we can continue to live with the freedoms that we enjoy."
Bobby quickly responded with, "Can I even be a Marine?"
I smiled and told him, "Of course you can. Serving your country is absolutely the most patriotic thing that you can do."
"So those are all ways to be a patriotic person, Bobby," I finished. He smiled and thanked me for taking the time to answer his question before retreating back to his parents. A grin spread across my face as I noticed the bright red, white, and blue bunting that hung from several tables and the small American flags that adorned every centerpiece display. We must always remain patriotic, I thought. We owe it to those who gave their lives; we owe it... to our country.
Jonathan Webster resides in Langhorne, Pa. He attends Bucks County Community College full-time and works part-time in the Dietary Department of St. Mary Medical Center. He is an Eagle Scout and a member of Somerton Chapter, Order of DeMolay, who is very active in community service, donating over 400 hours a year to The Salvation Army and St. Mary's Healing Environments Project and the Wellness/Rehabilitation Center. Jonathan is also an avid juggler and bicyclist.
PA Job's Daughters Honored with Supreme Positions
At the Supreme Session of Job's Daughters International held in Richmond, Va., two Pennsylvania Job's Daughters delegates were chosen to serve as an officer and a representative to the Supreme Bethel. Katherine Price, who is the current Miss Job's Daughter of PA, will be serving as Supreme Bethel Custodian. Cecile Madonna, who is reigning as the Mary Etta Wright Grand Bethel Honored Queen in PA, will be serving as the Supreme Bethel Representative to Mato Grasso Do Sul in Brazil.
Both girls are members of Bethel #15, of Elizabethtown. They will hold these positions until the next Supreme Session in August 2010, which will be convened in Colorado Springs, Colo. As members of the Supreme Bethel, these two young ladies will be part of a team of only 86 Daughters who represent their fellow members from all over the world.
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