A Scout is brave, but what Lawrence D. Sellers did on Jan. 29, 2013, was something beyond bravery.
The Chicago Area Council Eagle Scout was shot in the leg while shielding a friend from gunfire during the Harsh Park attack that killed Hadiya Pendleton.
Pendleton’s death, which happened a mile from President Barack Obama’s South Side home, has become a national symbol of Chicago’s gang violence, which has spiked in recent years.
On Sunday, the Chicago Area Council will present Lawrence with the Honor Medal, given for “unusual heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at considerable risk to self.”
Since 1923, fewer than 2,500 Honor Medals have been awarded. That’s a rate of about 28 a year, meaning Lawrence is in rare company.
“We’re very proud of Lawrence, as should be our entire national organization,” Chicago Area Council Commissioner Lou Sandoval wrote in an email to me this week. “Lawrence’s story needs to be told in hopes that it will inspire other youth in Chicago to seek an alternative path in life.”
Lawrence’s own life path has been one shaped positively by Scouting. Continue reading