Editor: As a past recipient of the Americanism Award I want to salute the choice of David Wenzel as this year’s award winner. Mr. Wenzel’s virtues and contributions to our community go far beyond the long list of his accomplishments.
It is about his mindset, his resilience, his curiosity and his multiple competencies that I speak.
Without those personal traits he would have been a war hero — a seriously wounded war hero — deserving of our respect and support for the sacrifices he made for our country. That is a given. But in
Mr. Wenzel we have someone who had the courage and the creativity to build a life of service to the community notwithstanding the disabilities that for many would be a deterrent to living an active, engaged and productive life. As he gave his all to the service of his country in the Vietnam War, so he gives his all to building our community and its future.
The mayoral position is no easy assignment; it is challenging every minute of the day. Mr. Wenzel took it on with gusto, reflecting his inexhaustible commitment to his hometown. His steadfast dedication to the celebration of United Nations Day reflects his global concerns.
His regular participation in the Schemel Forum, which I direct at the University of Scranton, speaks to his intellectual curiosity and competence. A regular at our world affairs luncheon seminars, he also instructs and has presented several film programs for Schemel.
Mr. Wenzel brings honor to the Americanism Award just as it brings deserved attention to his contributions to the world.
We all have a lot to learn from him. Let’s show our appreciation at the annual Americanism Award Dinner at the Jewish Community Center on May 18.
READERS OF THE TIMES-TRIBUNE
Publication Date: May 10, 2014