A moment of inspiration from his eighth-grade honors history class motivated Christopher Adam of Troop 88 in Mechanicsburg, PA, to design and build an Eagle Scout project as a generational tribute to World War II veterans.
“The trigger for my wanting to do this is that I was in my eighth-grade honors history class, and my teacher asked everyone in my class if they knew what D-Day was … I was one of three people in a class of 25 (that knew),” Christopher says. “In an honors history class, that was kind of appalling to know that American citizens don’t really know about that. So, I made it kind of my duty to change that.”
For his Eagle Scout project, Christopher created “Liberation Pointe,” a permanent outdoor educational exhibit at the United States Army Heritage and Education Center (AHEC) entrance in Carlisle, PA.
“I decided to do this project because I feel that my generation really should honor the greatest generation – the generation of people that served in World War II,” Christopher says. “I believe that it’s really important to know about history because if we don’t know about it, we’re doomed to repeat it.”
In recognition of his valuable service of an exceptional nature by an Eagle Scout candidate, Christopher received the 2020 Glenn A. and Melinda W. Adams National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award.
It took Christopher more than two years to plan and complete Liberation Pointe. The exhibit includes two life-size bronze statues commissioned to represent American soldiers landing on the beaches of Normandy and a life-size steel hedgehog anti-tank obstacle. These elements are enclosed inside a pentagon border made of Pennsylvania Black Granite. Each of the five sides represents a different D-Day invasion beach; Omaha and Utah where American forces landed, Gold and Sword where British troops came ashore, and Juno where the Canadians landed.
Christopher also created seven information panels summarizing what took place on each of the five beaches, a list of Allied and Axis units involved in the battle, and eyewitness accounts of veterans who made it through the D-Day assault. He gathered a small amount of sand from each of the beaches he collected during a research trip to Normandy, France. World War II veterans were invited to pour the sand into the memorial when it was dedicated on November 9, 2019.
Liberation Pointe required a tremendous amount of planning and effort to complete, including securing the approval of the Office of the Secretary of the Army in Washington, D.C. Christopher raised over $42,000 in cash for the project and negotiated a $40,000 price for the statues to be sculpted and cast by ART Research Enterprises of Lancaster, PA. In all, Christopher’s fellow Scouts, student peers, WWII re-enactors, his high school band, and several community organizations invested 2,386 volunteer hours in the project. Including the value of all the in-kind material materials and labor donations, the project is valued at over $200,000.
“These men, they’re heroes, and they really deserve all the recognition they are given,” Christopher says. “I feel it’s kind of my duty to even recognize them more and make sure that their legacy lives on, whether through me or the people that I work with.”
You can watch the results of Christopher’s project in the video below:
You can read Scouting magazine’s story about Christopher receiving the National Eagle Scout Service Project of the Year Award at https://tinyurl.com/2rjhu9w.