Hope For The Future
It's always fashionable to complain about the younger generation -- characterizing them as video-game playing "me-first"ers who don't know the value of hard work. But once in a while, we read a story about one of them that lets us know that the future is in good hands.
Unfortunately, a lot of times we only read their stories when they're taken from us too soon. You can read about a lot of their stories at the "Honor The Fallen" website. Today, though, I wanted to focus on a young man here in Idaho who, no less than the heroes in the military, gave his life for his friends. The story of 17 year old Andrew Williams is no less heart-breaking, and yet simultaneouly uplifting, than any other hero's story you might read. From the Idaho Statesman article about his death:
"Williams drowned about 10:30 p.m. while helping families in a rural subdivision south of Lake Lowell pull weeds, sticks and trash from a blocked culvert to stop rain water from flooding their homes...
"Williams was visiting a friend who lived next to the Wanns when residents in the subdivision decided they needed to clear the culvert because water was flooding the fields and streets around their homes.
"He got into the culvert under Fowler Lane near the subdivision's entrance and was tied by a rope to one of the area residents standing on the side of the road, Wann said.
"Suction from a wave of water pulled the teen down into the culvert, and those working with him were unable to save him. The father of a friend also was sucked in, but came out the other side and was uninjured, Wann said. Emergency workers recovered Williams' body at the bottom of the ditch."
Read the rest of the story. This wasn't a kid who was in it for the thrill; he was doing it to help others. (Note that they did secure him with a rope -- they just didn't understand the suction forces involved with flowing water.) Andrew wasn't planning on joining the military, but I'm sure that he would have become a leading force for good in his community.
"The Skyview High School senior, who was born in Nampa, would mow the lawn for an elderly couple near his home each summer and refused to be paid, his mother said. Though he was the center on the Skyview football team, he refused to wear a letterman's jacket because he didn't want others to feel bad, she said. He recently became an Eagle Scout, and his service project was collecting and sending bedding, school supplies and children's books for an orphanage in Kenya.
"He loved playing with his brother Sean, 12, and his sister, Allison, 9, his mother said. He took his brother to school each day instead of dropping him at the bus stop. Most recently, he had helped purchase Christmas presents for a needy family who will never know his name, she said."
This story is a good reminder for all parents to hug their kids a little tighter the next time they see them...