Posthumous Eagle Award
Branden Morris (morris@NET1PLUS.COM)
Wed, 23 Jul 1997 12:09:49 +0000
I'm responding to responses from Marc Solomon and Mike Walton regarding
Dave Huff's question on a posthumous Eagle Award...
I'm sure, at first, that this may seem cold and harsh to some readers.
Please bear with my train of thought here, and try to understand that I'm
not trying to give that impression. I'm writing this with a heavy heart,
thinking my point is well-intentioned, but sure it won't be received that way.
>David Huff wrote:
>>I just found out that a scout in my district was killed in a car
>>accident while returning from Philmont. One other is in critical
>>condition and others are hurting. Perhaps we could all take a moment
>>and say a prayer for this scout, his parents/family, and his unit.
Dave, please let me add my condolonces to Marc's and Mike's. I mean that
>>My question: According to the information in the paper, he was "close
>>to Eagle". I have seen instances of other young men being awarded the
>>Eagle after their death. Does anyone on the L have any experience in
>>that area. If so, how much work had to be done, was the project
The main point of my response is to ask the question, "Do we award Eagle
Awards to boys who don't complete the requirements?"
No, we don't. Much of the list traffic recently has been about the
appropriateness of Scouts meeting requirements. No more than the stated
requirements for advancement, and no less. If the Scout in question hadn't
completed the requirements, then he is simply not an Eagle Scout. This
might sound awful, and I tried to word it differently, but I can't seem to
-- by dying, he didn't fufill any more requirements. If he hadn't finished
the work, it's the same as an 18 year old who didn't finish the requirements.
I'm sure that this will sound harsh, cold, maybe downright evil to many
readers, for which I'm truly sorry -- I don't see myself as a harsh, cold,
evil person. I can understand completely the desire to honor, recognize,
and celebrate this young man's life; but I think (at least for myself,
anyways), that if the young man truly was an Eagle Scout, or of Eagle
material, he wouldn't want to be recognized for something he didn't do. I'm
concerned about the message that such a well-intentioned, but maybe
inappropriate, tribute might send to other Scouts -- that coming close is
good enough. It's not an option, I'm sure, that any of us advocate for our
Marc Solomon answered:
>Less than two years ago, a Scout from my village was killed in a
>bus/train accident. Jeffrey Clark had passed his Eagle BOR the evening
>before the accident. With urging from the council, national moved
>quickly and awarded Jeff's parents with his Eagle award prior to the
There's a significant difference here. The Scout had completed the
requirements and had the board of review. He was an Eagle Scout, even if he
hadn't been awarded the insignia in a public recognition ceremony.
>I know the circumstances here are different. If all that was left was
>the paperwork and EBOR than I am sure it can be held posthumously and
>National would probably assist in moving it along quickly under the
>circumstances. If the young man had further to go than that, it will
>probably be more difficult to convince National to proceed.
Marc spoke truly when he lamented the fact that a young man, with much
promise of a fruitful life, died. It is tragic, and I mean this sincerely,
that he didn't complete his Scouting. It's also tragic he'll never complete
his schooling, advance in his vocation, or raise a family. He seems to have
missed most of what most people find beautiful in this mortal life.
We should celebrate the lives of those who leave us -- and if they are
Scouts or Scouters, that should include their service to the organization,
community, and nation. I think there is a more appropriate way to do it
than by awarding something that otherwise wasn't warranted.
Please direct any flames or otherwise personal responses to my personal
mailbox. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Yours in Scouting,
Branden Morris -- email@example.com
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City