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The Pueblo Chieftain VOL. 143

NO. 166

50¢

May vary outside Pueblo

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mike Cafasso of Pueblo studies photographs of Medal of Honor recipients that line the walls of the new Center for American Values, 101 S. Main St. The center officially opens with a ribbon-cutting at 11 this morning. CHIEFTAIN PHOTOS/BRYAN KELSEN

Patriotic revival

Founders see hope in Center for American Values

More than 100 people — many of them military — crowded the center for a preview of the center that extols the values prominently featured on a wall: honor, integrity and patriotism.

By PETER ROPER

THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN

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Honor. Integrity. Patriotism. Those are the words emblazoned on the wall at the new Center for American Values, the fledgling no np r o f it o r g a niz a t io n that co-founders Adolph “Rudy” Padula and Medal of Honor recipient Drew Dix hope will trigger a revival of those basic values in Colorado and the nation. It’s an ambitious, audacious goal, but then the walls of the center are lined with photographs of Medal of Honor recipients — Americans who did audacious things on battle fie lds around the world. Still, Dix doesn’t want visitors and the public to be distrac te d by those portraits. “This center isn’t about the Medal of Honor,” he said emphatically to an audience of more than 100 at a special reception Friday night to showcase the new center at 101 S. Main St. “This center is going to be about people from all walks of life, people who embody those three

Medal of Honor recipient Drew Dix addresses more than 100 people Friday night, saying that Americans ‘need to start over. Begin teaching those important things, like doing the right thing and patriotism.’

basic values in their daily lives — honor, integrity, patriotism.” T he c e nte r offic ially opens at 11 a.m. today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Padula and Dix see it as a hub for programs and meetings, conferences and

school proje cts — any gathering that focuses on the basic values they want to see emphasized again. “Kids get a bad rap today, that many of them don’t understand or value those basics,” Dix told the crowd. “But the truth is

parents and grandparents aren’t getting the job done either. We need to start over. Begin teaching those important things, like doing the right thing and patriotism.” _________________________________________

PUEBLO, COLORADO Dix said he was confident the public w ill res pond. He s aid he w as proud that thousands of Pue bloans turne d out Thursday for the dedication of the new Veterans Bridge on the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo. “That was tremendous,” he said. “I don’t think you’d have gotten that kind of response in a town of 1 million people.” Dix said an early goal of the center will be to establish a relationship with Fort Carson, to assist those soldiers in any way, especially those coming home from combat and re-entering civilian life. The crowd at the reception came from near and far — many friends of Dix. CNN news reporter Alex Quade hosted the program and noted that several Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were in the crowd, men who’d protected her while she worked in combat areas. Like Dix, they exhibited the basic values the center will celebrate are intact, Quade said. “Fortunately, there are still rough men out there serving our country and keeping us safe, so we can attend events like this,” she said. R e tire d Air Forc e Lt. Gen. Nicholas Kehoe, chief e xe c utiv e offic e r of the Medal of Honor Foundation, was in the audience. So w ere visiting officers from the Air Force Academy as well as Marines in their dress blue uniforms. Standing in the crowd, his uniform arms ablaze with stripes, was Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Burch, the senior enlisted man in the National Guard. He’d met Dix when the Pueblo man spoke to a National Guard training session in Washington, D.C. “This is a very impressiv e unde rtaking,” Burch said. “It’s a credit to Pueblo t h a t t h is is h a p p e n in g here.” A lo ng w ith him w a s Brig. Gen. Dana Capozzella, commander of the Colorado National Guard. She nodded at Burch’s remark. “I’m ce rtain othe r citie s will want to copy this,” she said. Tom Allee, director of the center, said one goal will be to record interviews with everyday people, oral historie s of pe ople w ho have embodied those basic values in some facet of their lives. “We’ve developed a curriculum about these values that we are going to make available to schools across the country, starting right here in Pueblo,” he said. City Councilman Chris Kaufman was admiring the photographs along the wall and read the inspirational quotes from each Medal of Honor recipient. “How could anyone not be inspired by this?” he said. proper@chieftain.com

Patriotic_Revival  

By PETER ROPER basic values in their daily lives — honor, integrity, patriotism.” The center officially opens at 11 a.m. today with a ribbon...