Awards Ceremony
Gen. Dennis L. Via, Army Materiel Command's commanding general gave the ceremonial remarks to almost 200 parents, teachers and students during J.E. Williams Awards Day Ceremony May 23. U.S. Army Photo by Cherish Washington AMC Public Affairs.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (May 23, 2014) -- The class of 2021 marched into the auditorium on the last day they would be known at elementary students for an award ceremony at J.E. Williams Elementary here May 23.

Gen. Dennis L. Via, Army Materiel Command's commanding general gave the ceremonial remarks to almost 200 parents, teachers and students.

"I am so impressed to see so many parents in the audience. It is parental involvement that makes youth successful and it takes a lot of hard work," Via said.

Via told the students that he had 12 years of perfect attendance and enjoyed school, but the lesson he most wanted to impart was, "think it, believe it and you can achieve it."

"Setting goals is the first step," Via said.

Via cited Glenn Cunningham, Michael Jordan and J.K Rowling as examples of people who set goals and overcame obstacles to succeed. Cunningham learned to walk and run again after an accident that crippled him, Jordan kept practicing his jump shot after being cut from his high school basketball team, and Rowling stayed persistent in convincing publishers to take her famous Harry Potter books.

"Whatever you want to do in school and whatever you want to do in life, if you set goals and believe in yourself; you can achieve it," Via said.

And the students repeated twice, "think it; believe it and I can achieve it."

Page last updated Fri May 23rd, 2014 at 00:00