Something I've heard quite a bit about as I started with this school was how we as a society are lost. That there are no vocational opportunities, that our country (stereotypically) looks down on things like carpentry etc. It's said as support, support in what we are trying to bring to the community and beyond and I much appreciate it. One of the driving factors behind this school was me hearing from dads, moms that their boy and Girl Scouts couldn't do projects needed for badges because the parents couldn't help or didn't have the tools. One thing we'll have here is nights that they can come and use the equipment for free for this very reason. We as humans need to do more for others. Another thing I hear frequently is how we need to get our kids doing something besides looking at their phones. As a person who worked with hundreds of teenagers for decades, I tend to agree with that as well. Today though I experienced something I'm hoping I can put into words. I attended a funeral today, one for a retired Marine, and who was also a local sheriff deputy and much much more. Typically I wouldn't come back from such a day and feel joy. Especially in a situation like this where the family is an absolutely amazing group of people. One I'm very lucky to have any association with let alone call them friends. I saw many people I knew, and many I didn't come together to show true respect and give the man and his family the honor they so truly deserve. I saw people pull over their cars for a very long procession. Some getting out and saluting. Some taking off their hats. Some holding their hand over their hearts. Construction workers stopping their work to let the procession go by in peace and stand respectfully. These people didn't know this man, what he did or who he was yet they showed empathy to the family and friends. Because he was as Marine he was buried at the Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island Illinois. I saw hundreds of civilians and military people come to the road to show their respects to a man they didn't know but clearly appreciated. I had a person look at me and see how I felt and just touch my hand during the ceremony. What does any of this have to do with woodworking? Well honestly not a whole lot but it does have to do with the reason behind the school. The world in my opinion comes around and goes around. What things we used to do and believe in I think we will once again. This school was focused on that premise. The people want to work with their hands and build things. We may have as a society lost that focus but it'll come back and we're here to help stimulate that. We're here to stimulate giving in the community and being there for others to pursue their interest and dreams. Today I experienced a little of what I thought we as a society had lost. We tend to be a ME society but the actions I saw today showed so many people giving to those they didn't even know. Because it was the right thing to do and what they felt. A heart felt salute today to those that serve the people of their countries. A heart felt salute to our citizens who support and salute those that do and have served. All is not lost my friends. "You manifest what is before you". Manifest the best in each other too.