Millions of young men have followed the trail to Eagle. Legacy of Honor follows the trail of numerous Eagles seeking to understand the impact that being an Eagle Scout has had on their lives. The book chronicles the growth of Scouting and how Eagle Scouts influence and are influenced by the times. The author artistically weaves poignant interviews with a discussion of the times and personal observations on how this journey to track the legacy of honor has affected his life.
As one might expect there are numerous interviews with famous personalities- a senator, a Supreme Court justice, an astronaut, the mayor of New York City and a decorated war hero. The author also meets with Eagles from all walks of life and in many varied situations- from Puget Sound in Washington to the Mississippi Gulf coast to Washington D. C. The book, however, goes well beyond a basic interview. The author seeks to understand how being an Eagle Scout helped form each person’s character and how it helped determine who that person ultimately became.
At courts of honor and in discussions about how rare it is to be an Eagle, we often hear that less than four percent of the boys who join Scouting become Eagles. When we compare the number of Eagles to the entire male population in the United States, Eagles account for approximately .4% of the total. This is amazing when you consider that nine of the 100 members of the US Senate are Eagles. Eagles tend to be leaders. The author also spent time in Mississippi providing relief service for victims of hurricane Rita. There were 110 workers in the relief crew. Statistically he should have been the only Eagle. In fact there were eight Eagles in that crew. Eagles also tend to be committed to performing service for others.
Time after time interviewers discuss the core values contained in the Scout Oath and Law. The first eight words of the Scout Oath summarize the commitment of an Eagle Scout. “On my honor I will do my best…” If one does one’s best- whether working on a project, interviewing for a job, or playing soccer for a youth league - the person knows he has given his all. You only lose when you don’t give your best.
Honor is the other key point. One of the EMS responders to the 911 tragedy describes honor in this way. “All you have is your word and your honor, and nobody can take that from you but you. So you have to go live by that, and if you say you are going to do something you have to do it.”
Legacy of Honor shows how the principles of Scouting supersede the barriers of race, color or nationality. The Scouting values we learn as eleven year old Scouts help mold us into the men we will become. Scoutmasters, parents and many others help define the young Scout. Legacy of Honor is a tribute to Eagle Scouts and all those who supported that trek to Eagle. It is a book every Scouter or person involved with young people should read.