Eagle Scout who was Prepared To Honor, gets his Eagle Scout rank
Joseph Blaisse of Newtown Square, the 16 year old honor student attending Archbishop Carroll High School, earned additional honors as a new Eagle Scout last Sunday. The son of Bob and Jean Blaisse became known last year for his impassioned service project he called “Be Prepared To Honor” which asked his community to search out and honor World War II veterans before they are no longer among us. His passion was his Eagle Scout Service Project which honored and benefited WW II veterans and the organization Honor Flight Philadelphia.
On Sunday, December 29th the Boy Scout of America awarded Blaisse Scouting’s highest rank of Eagle Scout during an Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony conducted by Scout Troop 315, chartered by St. Anastasia Church in Newtown Square. Among nearly a hundred people who gathered at the Newtown Township Building were dignitaries which include Rev. Michael A. Colagreco, Pastor of St. Anastasia, and elected officials, among them a United States Congressman who came to acknowledge the new Eagle Scout and his success in calling his community to a greater awareness of the time remaining to honor surviving heroes of World War II.
The Cradle of Liberty Boy Scout Council approved Blaisse’s Eagle Scout Service Project last March. His project aimed to support the mission of Honor Flight Philadelphia by means through his efforts to locate surviving World War II veterans to be honored for their military service by offering them a no-expense bus trip offered to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. through the mission of Honor Flight Philadelphia, a relatively new veterans support organization. “People hardly knew about Honor Flight’s mission which is so simple but so important,” said Blaisse, whose two grandfathers both served during WW II.
The Scout’s project approved by Honor Flight Philadelphia President, Andrew Sciavello, was to simply locate 25 WW II veterans to be honored. Each veteran willing to go on an Honor Flight’s free bus trip made possible by Blaisse’s fundraising efforts. Each veteran would be also assigned a Scout Guardian to serve them as their escort for the day of the bus trip to Washington, D.C.
The Scout named his Eagle Project “Be Prepared To Honor” and within a month had a web site up (www.BePreparedToHonor.com) and his project was gaining attention by his efforts to speak at local retirement communities and by going on local radio programs hosted by DJ John DeBella and Talk Show Host Dom Giordano who are both strong supporters of Scouts and veterans. When his story was covered by Fox29 News the Scout and Honor Flight Philadelphia knew something big was beginning to happen. “What had been planned as a bus trip for 25 WW II veterans and 25 Scout Guardians turned into six busloads and Honor Flight Philadelphia’s biggest mission to date” said Cathy Domizio of Honor Flight Philadelphia. That successful mission became a six bus caravan of WW II veterans escorted by the state police all the way to Washington. It ended on June 15the with the Pennsylvania highways from the Delaware d border being closed for the WW II veterans to return home. A hundred and fifty motorcycles escorted the buses back to St. Kevin’s Curch in Springfield where hundreds of people waving signs and flags were waiting to cheer the veterans off the buses and onto a red carpet leading to a dinner party held in their honor on behalf of a grateful nation.
For his great effort and success in leading his fellow Scouts and his community to honor aging heroes of WW II, Boy Scout Troop 315 and the Delaware County community came out to honor Blaisse as he was awarded his rank of Eagle Scout. After the Eagle award to the Scout who had asked his community to Be Prepared To Honor WW II veterans was pinned on his uniform by his mother jean Blaisse, dignitaries of the Scout’s local community added other awards for his role in bringing his community together to honor aging American veterans.
U.S. Congressman Patrick Meehan (PA-7th) came to show his appreciation of Blaisse’s Eagle Scout project which the Congressman acknowledged he had personally witnessed as a result of the Scout’s call to the community “to honor surviving WW II veterans while we still can.” In addition to being honored by a United States Congressman coming to honor the Scout, Blaisse’s Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony was also attended by Pennsylvania State Senator Edwin (Ted) Erickson who awarded Blaisse a citation of Congratulations on behalf of the Pennsylvania State Senate. Erickson spoke about the great percentages of Boy Scouts who go on later in life to continue to do great things. Following the Senator was Pennsylvania State Representative Tom Killion (168th), representing Blaisse’s home district. Killion awarded Blaisse with a citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Next the new Eagle Scout’s contributions were highlighted by Newtown Township Supervisor John A. Nawn, himself an Eagle Scout, who presented Blaisse with a Newtown Township Resolution passed by the Township to recognize the Eagle Scout’s contributions to his hometown community. Nawn also stood in for Delaware County Council Members which also passed a resolution signed by all the members of the Delaware County Council acknowledging Blaisse’s successful efforts to inspire Delaware County residents to honor aging veterans for their past military service.
After the elected dignitaries had made their presentations to the new Eagle Scout acknowledging his “Be Prepared To Honor” service project, two Commanders of the American Legion came forward to address the audience and to share how the Eagle Scout’s project has inspired an ongoing project of the American Legion Family. The Commander of Delaware County American Legion Detachment, Marty Costello, and State Detachment Commander of the Sons of The American Legion, George Flasinksi, both presented Blaisse with citations and told their own story of how the Scout’s Be Prepared To Honor Eagle Scout Project served as the inspiration for an ongoing effort by the American Legion to bring Boy Scouts into greater service of aging veterans through a new relationship the American Legion Family has created with Honor Flight Philadelphia.
When the presentations completed it was time for the new Eagle Scout to share his “Eagle Scout Minute” which Blaisse used to thank his Scout Leaders for their assistance on his Trail To Eagle beginning a 6 year old Cub Scout. After thanking his parents, Bob and Jean Blaisse, and awarding his Eagle Scout Mentor pin to his father, the Eagle Scout showed his ongoing willingness to do his best by telling his audience that he will always try to live by his Scouting values and his Eagle Scout Oath.