Retired Army Col. Shawn P. Walsh ’80 told the students, faculty, staff, and audience members gathered for the Memorial Day Gold Star Ceremony that the Culver bond ties everyone together and that living a life based on humility and integrity is the best way to honor them.
Walsh talked about 1st Lt. George Ham Cannon ’34, who died as a result of the wounds he received during the bombardment of Sand Island, part of the Midway Islands, during World War II. Cannon would not leave his post until his wounded men had been evacuated. He died as the result of losing too much blood. He later received the Medal of Honor for his actions.
He also talked about 1st Lt. Andrew K. Stern ’98, who died in Fallujah, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated while his tank platoon was providing security for an engineering unit. His actions were credited with “saving many lives that day,” Walsh said.
Their actions made a difference. And those actions are rooted in Culver. And by living a life guided by humility and integrity, every Culver graduate has a common bond with these men, he said. “These are traits that you share.”
Humility is admitting that “you don’t have all the answers.”
Integrity is simply living the Culver Honor Code, that what you do is right, and being confident in yourself and your actions. “That translates into consistency, especially in the face of adversity,” he added.
This is the common bond all Culver alumni share with the men being remembered during the Gold Star Ceremony. And it is the best way to ensure they are never forgotten, he said.