Special to 0-A News
From Walter Albritton, Senior Pastor Trinity UMC
For Sunday, Oct. 4, 1998
This afternoon an Eagle Scout
Court of Honor will assemble to recognize another fine young man,
Matt O'Rielly, as an Eagle Scout. Matt has fulfilled the difficult
requirements so today's ceremony will celebrate his induction
into the Eagle Scout Brotherhood.
Matt recently graduated from
Opelika High School and is now attending Auburn University. In
addition to being a good student, Matt played for the varsity
football team, earning the approval of his coaches for his constant
hard work and improvement. Head Coach Spence McCracken honored
Matt by naming him of his student assistants during spring practice
Today, before his mother Vickie, brother Tim, and other relatives and friends, Matt enter into a sacred covenant with other Eagle Scouts. He will promise to hold, without reservation, ever before him "the ideals of honor and service." His Scout Master will remind him that his entry into the Eagle Brotherhood "is not an end" to his commitment to the ideals of Scouting, but rather "the beginning of the commitment." He will repeat the Eagle Scout Oath before family members, leaders, and fellow scouts and acknowledge his acceptance of the challenge as he becomes an Eagle Scout. Matt will pledge, on his "sacred word of honor" his eternal loyalty to the code of Scouting. He will reaffirm his allegiance to the three promises of the Scout Oath by saying:
"I thoughtfully recognize
and take upon myself the obligations and responsibilities of an
Eagle Scout. With the help of God, I will do my best to make my
training an example. My influence and my opportunities strongly
count for physical fitness, for wholesome character and for devoted
citizenship, in Scouting, and in my community. To this I pledge
my sacred honor."
This is no small commitment
for a young man to make. But the truth is, our nation becomes
a little stronger each time a fine young man like Matt takes this
oath. Seldom does an Eagle Scout bring shame upon himself, his
family, and his country. It does happen. But for the most part,
Eagle Scouts bring honor to themselves and our nation. It has
been my privilege to know Matt and his family since he was eight
years old. I have watched him grow up. He has been responsive
to the good guidance given him by his mother and his grandparents.
He became a strong leader among the youth of his church, earning
the trust and respect of his pastors and church leaders.
During the past 10 years Matt
has been a special friend. He gave me the privilege of sharing
with him many times, man to man. And not once was I unaware that
our special relationship was a gift from God to me. Today I will
have the honor of offering a few words of appreciation during
the Court of Honor. I use the word "honor" because it
is indeed an honor to have been asked to speak on this significant
occasion in Matt's life. He is an unusual young man who will receive
today a most unusual recognition.
Two very significant family
members will not attend the Court of Honor today. Matt's father,
Patrick O'Rielly, slipped away from the family when Matt and Tim
were very young. He died of a heart attack one Saturday morning.
The other missing person is George O'Rielly, Matt's grandfather,
who passed away this year. But while they may not be seen at the
Court of Honor, I have an idea Pat and George will be there. I
have an idea they will be leaning over the balcony of heaven,
joining in the applause when Matt becomes an Eagle Scout. I expect
to hear them clapping, and whispering to Matt, "Congratulations
Matt! We are so proud of you!!"
As long as there are splendid
young men like Matt O'Rielly who are willing to take on the sacred
oath of the Eagle Scouts, there is hope for America.
Congratulations, Matt! I am
proud of you too!