scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: (long) Inspiration & good PR
Michael Derleth (michael_derleth@ELI.NET
Thu May 25 2000 - 10:32:10 CDT
(C) "The Columbian" 5/21/00
Metro newspaper for Vancouver, WA:
As Patriots, Boy Scouts put feds to shame
by Brian Willoughby
Call it a lesson in citizenship. And like so many of life's lessons,
this one is taught by the younger generation.
Harry Kintonasakis, 53, moved to the United States from Greece 27
years ago. Earlier this year, the Yacolt resident became a U.S.
citizen. He and wife Karen and their three grown children drove to
Seattle for the swearing-in ceremony.
Karen calls the experience a disappointment.
The ceremony took place in a drab immigration office, with people
coming and going continuously. Harry was put in one room, while his
family as asked to stand in another. And no one was allowed to
applaud. . ."it was more like processing people through the system
than a ceremony," Karen said. "It seemed to me that they deserved
While the federal government couldn't seem to find a way to plan a
moving ceremony for Harry, a bunch of Clark County boys could
The day after Harry was sworn in, friends and neighbors threw the man
a party to celebrate his new citizenship. A friend arranged for Boy
Scout Troop 648 to make a color guard presentation during the party.
"When the Scouts came into the room and did the flag presentation, I
was absolutely amazed. They presented the flag with such dignity and
respect," Karen said. "In the 26 years harry and I have been married,
I don't think we have ever been touched so deeply as we were then.".
. ."I'm sure that's when he became a citizen"
The first time I heard this story, I was disappointed by my
government, disappointed that someone couldn't find a way to put a
bit of pomp in the circumstance of welcoming new citizens.
Then I thought a bit more. It dawned on me that I don't want
patriotism to come from some government employee sitting behind a
desk. If I have my choice of patriotic images, I'll take kids
carrying a flag any day. I'll gladly take those five Boy Scouts as
standard bearers to welcome w new citizen to his country. Because
that's how a government of the people, by the people and for the
people works. It works for me, and it worked, I think, for one of our
newest citizens, Harry Kintonasakis. . . .
Michael Derleth MDerleth@yahoo.com
ASM T14 Vancouver, WA