Marshall speaks to GMC grads
By Matt Barnwell MACON TELEGRAPH STAFF WRITER
WARNER ROBINS – Service to others will keep America strong, U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall told graduates of Georgia Military College\’s Warner Robins campus Saturday.
\”You can do well for yourselves by doing good to others,\” he said. \”May God give each of you the gift of living generously.\”
About 40 students graduated.
Marshall cited military service and Lance Armstrong\’s \”Live Strong\” fund-raising campaign to fight cancer as examples of how society can be served.
Members of the Georgia National Guard\’s 48th Brigade, who recently entered Iraq, face the certainty of injury or death, Marshall said. Had he gotten the chance to address the brigade when he visited shortly before its deployment, Marshall, a Vietnam veteran, said he would have viewed them as he would himself at a young age.
\”Then I would have told them something counterintuitive: the gift they give to us, the gift of service, is something they also give to themselves,\” he said.
Serving society makes the individual stronger, as well as the whole population, he said.
\”If I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living will not be in vain,\” Marshall said, quoting a spiritual.
In trying to make his point, Marshall recounted a tale of a rich man attempting to enter the gates of heaven.
\”So St. Peter says, \’OK, tell me why we should let you into heaven?\’ \” Marshall said. When the man offered his sinless life as a reason, Peter wanted to know what the man had done to help others. After taking time to think it over, the rich man noted two instances in his life where he\’d given a dollar to street beggars.
Stumped, Peter went and asked God whether the man should be allowed into heaven. He soon returned with God\’s answer, Marshall said: \”\’Give that guy $2 and tell him to go to hell.\’\”
Marshall, a Democrat who represents Georgia\’s 3rd Congressional District, is the former mayor of Macon.
He has said he will seek reelection in 2006 in the newly-formed 8th District, which stretches from the outskirts of metro Atlanta to south Georgia.
To contact Matt Barnwell, call 923-3109, extension 307, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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