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Weekly Message from Our Executive Director (5.4.20)

By: Tina Shaffer

Dear DI Family,

Sunday, May 10 is Mother’s Day. It always reminds me of some of my favorite memories of my mom, Anna Mable Tuck.

I started in Girl Scouting at the age of 6, and for much of that time, my mom was my Girl Scout Troop Leader. As some of you may remember, in the 1960s, America was grappling with whether or not our country should be involved in the Vietnam War.

In my hometown, the divide was particularly wide. Groups with opposite opinions on the issue decided that they could not march together in the town’s annual Memorial Day parade. They worked out a solution: The traditional march, featuring the VFW and other veteran’s groups would march in the morning. The “People for Peace” march would be held in the afternoon.

This put the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and other groups in a difficult predicament. Would we march in the morning? Or the afternoon? We anxiously awaited my mother’s decision at our Thursday afternoon troop meeting. “Troop 77 will be marching in BOTH parades!” our fearless leader announced. “We are all Americans and we will stick together.”

I wish I could say that we jumped with joy. But the parade route was long. It was going to be hot outside. We had to wear our full uniforms. We had to carry flags. We had to wear white gloves and that green felt beret that made your head sweat. But Mable would not be moved. Girls were sent home with the message: March in both parades, or not at all.

So we marched in both parades—the only troop in town to do so. And it was hot, and long and uncomfortable. But we held our heads (and our flags) high. And we stuck together.

I am so proud of that moment, and it resonates in this time where Americans continue to have differing opinions on just about everything, but in this time of Covid-19, as during the Vietnam War, it is about life or death. Some people desperately need to get the economy moving again while others are committed to sheltering in place.

There is space for all those opinions. We are going to disagree with the decisions and the outcomes in many cases. But I think that who is right or wrong is not really the most important question. What matters is that we always remember that we are in this together.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommies out there wherever in the world they may be. And happiest of Mother’s Days (in heaven) to my mom, a truly extraordinary woman.

Stay Healthy. Stay Creative. And don’t forget to call your mom.

Michele