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By Michael Angier

The Power of Acknowledgement

This past week I had the honor and privilege of attending two semi-formal ceremonies. First was the swearing-in of Vermont's Lieutenant Governor in the well of the state senate. The second was the Governor's Inaugural Ball at our country's oldest military academy, Norwich University.

I'm not all that big on pomp and pageantry, but I was glad to attend and very much enjoyed myself. In doing so, I was reminded of the importance of acknowledging and honoring people.

It was during the Lieutenant Governor's inauguration speech that I was struck with just how powerful acknowledgement truly is. 

Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie had just taken the oath of office for his second term, and he was addressing the Vermont Senate, a number of friends, family and a few dignitaries.

Lieutenant Governor Dubie is a Colonel in the Vermont Air Force Reserve and has a good number of his family in the military. There were over twenty people in uniform with us in the Senate Chamber.

One of those asked to stand and be recognized was my father, J. Francis Angier. Lt. Governor Dubie talked about how my father served our country and our state when he was a B-17 bomber pilot during WWII, how he was shot down and how he had been a POW held by the Germans until the end of the war. He even went so far as to hold up a copy of my father's book, "Ready or Not!" calling it, "a great book."

I was proud, my father was a tad bit embarrassed, and we were both a little surprised.

The acknowledgement and tribute paid to my father and a host of others during Brian's speech really impressed me. Most of his speech was spent recognizing and honoring people. He spoke only a little about his own accomplishments—of which there are many—and his plans for the future.

Our gracious Lt. Governor obviously understands the value and inspiration that comes from giving public recognition to the help someone has given or the work someone has done. Everyone who heard Brian that snowy morning was reminded of the selfless acts of many people. He inspired us all by honoring dozens of people who have made all of our lives better.

Two days later, at the Governor's Inaugural Ball, both Lt. Governor Brian Dubie and Governor Jim Douglas toasted our guardsmen deployed around the world and many others who serve our country and our community in different capacities.

In my opinion, they honored themselves, by honoring others—and so can—and should—we.

Action Point
Look for every opportunity to publicly acknowledge others for their good deeds. Tell people about the goodness and kindness of others. Look for the examples of what's good in the world—in small ways and big—and point it out for us all to see.


Jan 6, 2004




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Last Updated 01/12/2005