A World War II veteran, 88-year-old Delbert Belton, was beaten to death in Spokane, Washington this week. Two teens are accused of committing the brutal crime.
If that isn’t a call to illuminate and educate our children about the true heroes in our nation, I don’t know what is. But kudos to one small, Huntsville-based nonprofit organization for doing its part to educate, inspire and empower today’s youth. I’d like to introduce you to Liberty’s Legacy.
After participating in the Tennessee Valley Honor Flights, Huntsville residents Patti Yancey and Laurie Sammons marveled at the servicemen and women who fought so hard to ensure our freedom.
“The most profound thing to me was that they were so incredibly humble,” said Sammons, who is now donor relations manager for Liberty’s Legacy. “Most of them had never spoken of their service in the war, even to their families. For so many people to be honoring and thanking them, they were overwhelmed. Some of them cried.”
After all, they didn’t serve for praise. They served because out of duty. They served for their country, their children, and their children’s children.
They served for you and me.
“When they finally got to the memorial in DC, the silence and awe they had when finally seeing it for the first time was incredible,” said Sammons.
Sammons, Yancey, and other trip supporters recognized a sense of patriotism and civic duty in the vets we don’t see today. They brainstormed ways in which that American spirit could be planted in children, in schools, in communities… in hearts across Alabama and beyond. It was time to “pass the torch to the next generation.”
That’s how Liberty’s Legacy, a nonprofit organization founded by Huntsville businessman Davis Lee, began. Its three-fold mission of character building, financial literacy and career development addresses children from kindergarten through 12th grade.
There are in-school kits that offer hands-on activities and “experiences.” Ten-week programs culminate with a presentation and performance by Lady Liberty herself!
“The excitement we see in the children is heartwarming,” said Sammons. “You get chill bumps and shed a few tears.”
Thousands of students have completed the Liberty’s Legacy program with remarkable, measurable outcomes. They are committed to inspiring and educating “exceptional young citizens.”
As a nonprofit professional and mother of two, I appreciate the organization’s unique vision and passionate efforts. The other day, my mom, husband and I discussed the “Greatest Generation” and “Silent Generation,” and how much grit, courage and perseverance those men and women had. Now, computers handle our hard work and most American children don’t know how many men and women sacrificed their lives for the freedom we often take for granted.
The folks at Liberty’s Legacy know it’s not too late to teach kids civic responsibility, character building, history and their important role in shaping this nation’s future. They recognized a hole in our society and are filling it one pebble — and one student, one classroom and one school — at a time.
WATCH A VIDEO on how Liberty’s Legacy is building super citizens!