The Boy Scouts of America is surely one of the greatest character-building assets in our nation. And Chattanoogans commendably are among the most enthusiastic participants, supporters and encouragers of this fine program.
Yesterday, a crowd of about 650 Chattanoogans gathered at the Chattanooga Convention Center to hear U.S. astronaut Col. Richard A. Searfoss present an inspirational address -- and provide an opportunity for Chattanoogans to boost our Boy Scouts in the fine Cherokee Area Council with generous financial support.
Searfoss spoke of the "moral courage to do what's right," as he recalled some of his space experiences, and he commented on what he has found to be "the spiritual nature of this planet" Earth.
Searfoss is one of fewer than a hundred people who have commanded a human space mission. He has piloted two space shuttle missions and commanded a third, accumulating 939 hours in space and 5,800 hours of flying time -- in 71 different types of aircraft!
He graduated No. 1 in his Air Force Academy class -- and obviously went on to many "higher" things!
Not incidentally, he became an Eagle Scout, and he credits his Boy Scout activities with helping prepare him for the huge challenges he earlier could not even imagine.
Chattanooga is most fortunate that our community -- and its generous residents -- provide our Boy Scouts the important character-building activities that benefit them and society as a whole.
We commend all of our Boy Scouts, as well as their leaders and those who act in many ways on their behalf.