American Legion celebrates birthday, A&G test winners

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American Legion Post 428 honored winners of the Americanism and Government Test during their birthday dinner held March 10.
Winners attending the celebration are shown above with American Legion members.
They are front from left: Amanda Latta, Donovan Koman and Amber Powell. Standing behind are: Fred Barnett and Tom Barnett, both with Post 428, Brad Ray, Post 475 in Dellroy and Larry Tasker, Post 428.

CARROLLTON – American Legion Post 428 hosted the annual birthday dinner March 10 at Ponderosa Steakhouse.

Carroll County Probate and Juvenile Judge John Campbell was the guest speaker. Glenn George, Sr., of Mechanicstown was presented with an American Legion 70-year pin.

Winners of the Americanism and Government Test were announced. Students in grades 10-12 at Carrollton High School and the Carroll County Christian Academy had the option to take the test.

Winners included: Donovan Koman, Conner King and Chance Schaar, Carrollton High School and Amanda Latta, Amber Powell and Haidyn Shuman, Christian Academy.

Students who attended Buckeye Boys and Girls State during the summer of 2017 were invited to speak about their experiences. Judge Campbell and his wife, Melanie, are avid supporters of the girls state program.

Campbell opened his speech noting, every generation of people is different in important ways.

“We live in a world that changes and we have to adapt to it. The very nature of society is very dynamic and changeable,” Campbell said. “Old customs, traditions, values and institutions are brushed away for new customs, traditions, values and institutions. Each generation consistently reminds the other of these changes.”

He explained when kids hear their parents or grandparents talk about returning to the “good ole days,” it’s because they have experienced a sense of loss from change.

Campbell told the group, he could not have imagined the technology and career paths that will be open to students.

“But with each evolving generation, society and culture make adjustments to keep up. Those of us who are from an earlier generation need to accept that and deal with it,” he stated. “Regardless of the changing technology and changing societal landscape, I believe there are a few constants, things that are important in any society.”

He explained, they include:

  • Interdependence – As much as we, in our western society, strive to be individuals, we are social animals and the survival of each of us is really dependent on the interdependence no individual is truly self-sufficient.
  • Conflict & Cooperation – In every society, there will be conflict and cooperation and society needs to find a balance between them. There are idealists who strive for a society without conflict but not all conflict is bad. It provides an opportunity to discuss opposing ideas and can lead to positive change. Even though conflict can be acceptable, society requires there be cooperation. Cooperation prevents mutual destructiveness and is an essential building block in the foundation of any society.
  • Interconnections based on social relationships – Campbell noted, it is said society is the network of social relationships and not an Internet connection or social media network. In today’s society, this is a reality to all students and is part of how they build social relationships.

“It’s difficult to define social relationships, but sociologists have defined the concept of social relationship as a social connection based upon mutual awareness or mutual recognition,” he said. “ [Sociologist Charles H.] Cooley, called this the ‘we feeling,’ a network of resilient social relationships among individuals is the basis for society.”

In the 21st century, a hi-tech world that is changing as we speak, how do you hold on to the building blocks of society? Campbell asked.

“Some fear the emerging technologies and changing values are a sign that some of these social constants will disappear as unnecessary in 21st century America,” he said. “We must remember that change is always led by the young in our society.”

He told the group to look back to the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War and the expansion of cyber technology. “Change evolving from each of these was advanced by people between the ages of 18 and 35,” he explained, addressing the Boys and Girls State participants. “We have to trust our youth to lead society and bring about positive change. I believe your participation in Girls State and Boys State was not only an avenue to help you learn about citizenship but an opportunity to develop leadership skills that will serve you in the future as you become the next generation of leaders in our workplace and your community.”

Continuing he stated, “Your week-long summer program gave you the opportunity to see the inside of how our democratic government is designed to function. Our system is the cornerstone of our society and culture, and regardless of the evolving technology and shifting traditions, there are new laws and amendments to the Constitution, but the fundamental beliefs on which this American society was created are still in place.”

“I believe that everything you learned at Boys and Girls State has enhanced your understanding of the significance of interdependence and the importance of cooperation; the need for techniques to handle conflict in a positive way and the value of building a network of social relationships. Society is different today than it was when I was 17. There are changes you will face that I never imagined. But I am confident in the future because of young people like you. Our society will continue to change, but there are essentials, familiar constants, that keep our society working that will stand the test of time.”

Along with the Campbells, other Buckeye Boys and Girls State sponsors were recognized. They include: Glenn George, Sr., Prosecutor Steve (Jennifer) Barnett, Women Democrats of Carroll County, Attorney Kathleen Allmon Stoneman and John McLoney.