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Monday, 02 July 2018 22:23

Marine Corps League Good Citizenship Certificate Awarded to Peter Gockowski

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Marine Corps League

Good Citizenship Certificate

Awarded to

Peter Gockowski

0900, Monday, July 2, 2018

Seattle High School Memorial Stadium


Good morning, my name is Larry Alcantara, Past Commandant, Marine Corps League Puget Sound Detachment 336, Redmond, WA and I am joined by Scott Eliason, VFW Post 6785, Kent Meridian Scout Chair and Honor Guard Commander. Both Scott and I perform military honors for veterans of all branches of the US military at internment at Washington State’s only national cemetery, as members of the Tahoma National Cemetery Support Group.

We are here this morning to honor and present the Marine Corps League’s “Good Citizenship Award” to Eagle Scout Peter Gockowski for achieving the Boy Scout’s highest rank of Eagle Scout.

The rank of Eagle Scout is not given it is earned. So, it is with the title of US Marine. You can join the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard but the title of US Marine, like that of the Eagle Scout, must be earned. Earning the rank of Eagle Scout is an accumulation of a scout’s lifetime achievement. Only 2% of scouts earn the Eagle Scout standing. We recognize that this was made possible through the assistance of his Scoutmasters, Troop leaders, fellow Scouts, parents, family, friends, and members of the community.  

Eagle Scout Peter applied all the scouting lessons learned and demonstrated his merit for the rank of Eagle Scout by choosing to bestow the rightful honor and respect to the 800 Seattle High school alumni whose names are engraved on this 1947 Memorial Wall for making the ultimate sacrifice for American ideals and our heritage of freedom.

I too, am a product of the Seattle public school system, Franklin High School class of 1965. I too lost a high school friends defending America’s freedom. Louie Albanese, Medal of Honor recipient, gave full measure for the country that he served just one year before I too joined the battle and survived the 1968 Tet Offensive.

I was stirred spiritually to learn of Peter’s act of restoring the Memorial Wall. Noticing that the wall was partly obscured by trash-strewn, overgrown hedges Peter leapt into action. The first hurdle was securing approval from the Seattle School District and the City of Seattle, no small feat in of itself.

Upon hearing of Peter’s remarkable choice, the first thought I had was the Leatherneck Honor Guard’s motto, “Only the forgotten are truly dead.” It was Thomas Jefferson that said, "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." Peter’s vigilance insures our fallen heroes are not forgotten.

(Award presentation)

I present the Marine Corps League Good Citizenship Award to Peter Gockowski for attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. Congratulations Eagle Scout Gockowski!


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Optional Readings:

As an Eagle Scout is an elite status among Boy Scouts, so US Marines are elite warriors. As such we share the common values. Our “Marine Corps values” are, honor, courage, commitment.

Honor means, always do what’s right, even when no one is watching. A U.S. Marine must never lie, never cheat, never steal, but that is not enough.  This code of conduct, being accountable for our actions and holding others accountable for theirs.  And, above all, honor demands that a Marine never stain, or bring dishonor, to the reputation of his Corps.

Courage is to put honor into action, a moral strength to behave to a higher

standard regardless of what others around you are doing; the will to do what is right regardless of the actions of others.  It is mental discipline, doing what is right and not what is popular.

Commitment is a combination of selfless determination and relentless dedication to excellence.  Marines never give up, never give in, never willingly accept second best. Commitment never dies. Excellence is always the goal. And there is no such thing as an Ex-Marine; once a Marine, always a Marine. We live by these Corps values even after we leave the military service. Honor, courage and, commitment.

The service to others is a way of life, a touchstone to guide our decisions every day. It is in this spirit we serve our community, state and nation.  Let our rules of conduct guide us throughout our lives.

Read 8862 times Last modified on Tuesday, 03 July 2018 00:50