I Am The Eagle [Sometimes this is read by a person who is out of site for dramatic effect.]
I am the Eagle.
Since the beginning of time, man has used me and my brothers as a symbol of royalty, power, victory, authority, and valor. My strength and courage has inspired men throughout the ages.
In the golden days of Greece, I was a symbol of victory and supreme spiritual energy. I was the sacred bird of Zeus, the ruler of all gods. The Greeks represented me with wings outstretched, holding a serpent in my claws. Thus I represented the triumph of good over evil.
In Rome, I was the symbol of Jupiter, the supreme Roman god. The Romans saw me as the symbol of victory. As the Roman legions conquered the World, they marched under the standard of the Eagle, with outstretched wings. The silver Eagle was the symbol of the Republic and the Roman Empire used the Golden Eagle as its symbol. I became the personal emblem of the Caesars, thus representing supreme authority.
The rise of Christianity brought me still more honor. To the early Christians, the Eagle was the symbol of Ascension. This was due to the strong flight of the Eagle with its gaze fixed upon the sun. In early icons, I was known as the symbol of Saint John the Evangelist.
On June 20, 1782, I became the symbol of a new country. Because of my courage and beauty, I was chosen to symbolize the new United States of America. The eagle became a prominent feature of the Seal of State of the new republic.
From this early beginning, I have been used in many ways to symbolize the ideals of this country. Several states have the eagle on their state flags. You can find me on the coins of America from the beginning to the present day.
I have a prominent place in America, as in ancient Rome, as a symbol of power and authority. The emblem of the President, Vice-President, several members of the President's Cabinet, and most branches of the military center on the Eagle.
From the symbol of the Caesars to the emblem of this country, it was thus fitting that the Eagle should have a part in the most momentous achievement of man. The Apollo Eleven crew chose Eagle as the name for the Lunar Module which was to make history... and with the words of Eagle Scout Neil Armstrong... "Houston, Tranquility Base here, the Eagle has landed."... Man was on the Moon.
In 1911, following the traditions as old as man himself, the Boy Scouts of America chose the Eagle to symbolize the very highest in achievement. Through all of history, I have been the symbol of man's best; now I am the symbol of Scouting's best.