Twenty boys behind.
It's late. Just after 11:00 PM. We've been on the bus for just over three hours. We have many hours left before we reach our destination - Washington DC.
There's a rumble of voices around me. Some of you play video games on your phone. Some of you are texting friends. Some of you are talking.
You don't know it yet but you'll remember this trip. The long bus ride. The sites you'll see.
Arlington National Cemetery. The Lincoln Memorial. The long black wall of the Vietnam Memorial. The majesty of the Capitol. Smithsonian Museums.
The places and the Memorials that you will see remember those who made a difference. People who stood up, took a stand, gave their lives for others.
The world is a confusing place at times. But in times of chaos there have always been people who could see clearly what needed to be done. Washington DC honors people like that.
Abraham Lincoln. George Washington. FDR. Thomas Jefferson. Martin Luther King. The men and women who served in Vietnam and Korea and WWII.
At some point in your life you will be asked to stand up, take a stand, give a portion of your life for someone else.
You may never have a granite memorial honoring what you have done - most of us won't. But there will be times of chaos where you will need to decide. Do I stand up?
I have faith that you will. Some of you already have. Some of you have stood beside the one who had no friends. Some of you have volunteered to help someone in need.
The world needs you to stand up, take a stand, give yourself to something bigger than yourself. Every generation builds on what others have done. Your generation will be no different.
So let's enjoy Washington DC and be inspired by those who shaped our country.
And remember you have the chance to shape our country as well. Stand up, take a stand, give yourself to something bigger than you.