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"You and Me, God"

Suggested Level

Suggested Applications

Middle and High School Social Studies, Language Arts

Students will:
• Determine that the Citizen Service Before Self Honorees display many of the same attributes
  as Medal of Honor recipients.
• Relate the character values demonstrated by the civilian honoree of the Citizen Service Before
  Self Honors to a Medal of Honor recipient they have studied.
• Identify the character values demonstrated by David Bryan and support their choices with evidence
  from the vignette.
• Write in response to the vignette about the situation facing David Bryan.

Citizen Service Before Self Honoree Focus:
 David Bryan, Government Worker, Kansas City, Missouri

Introductory Activity:
The teacher will ask students to write about the following quotation for approximately fifteen minutes,
then share with a partner, and finally the whole group.

Directions to students:
Please read the following quotation from the vignette we are about to study:

Basically our life as human beings is how we interact with one another, and every little piece
of yourself that you give to someone else carries on, and they are going to pass that to someone else.

Explain what this quotation means to you. Explain how a lesson in life has been passed on to you
that you hope to pass down through generations as well. Perhaps your mother always remembered
a needy family during the holidays and you hope to continue the tradition or your father’s example
of kindness towards someone in need is a character trait or value that you hope to develop.

After students write in response to the writing activity and share responses, the teacher will explain the
significance of the Citizen Service Before Self Honors given each year at Arlington National Cemetery in
Washington, DC, as part of National Medal of Honor Day on March 25th. The teacher will explain that
David Bryan, who lived near Kansas City, Missouri, was honored for going above and beyond by valiantly
rescuing a motorist from a burning automobile. The teacher will explain that as a private citizen, David Bryan
displayed many of the same values as our Medal of Honor recipients, courage, commitment, citizenship,
sacrifice, integrity and patriotism.

Whole Group Activity:
Students will view the vignette that explains the situation that occurred on the highway when a driver reached
down to pick up his sunglasses. The teacher will lead students in a brief discussion of their impressions
of David Bryan. Did David Bryan demonstrate any of the character values of the person mentioned in their
individual responses to the introductory activity?

Small Group Activity:
Students will be asked to take on the following roles in small groups:

1. Questioners- What unanswered questions do you have about the actions of David Bryan? What three
    questions would you ask him if you could?
2. Visualizers- Draw a scene from the vignette that most stands out for you. Explain why the scene is a
    significant part of the vignette.
3. Concluders- What conclusions can you draw about David Bryan and Michael Nolte after hearing their story?
    What evidence led you to these conclusions?
4. Inferencers- What inferences can be drawn from the account of these two men?
5. Predictors- What predictions would you make about David Bryan and Michael Nolte’s actions in the future?
6. Connectors- What connections can you make to this vignette: text-to-text, text-to-world, text-to-me? Explain the
    rationale for these connections.

Concluding Activity:
Students will share their work with the whole group after completing these tasks. The teacher will revisit the quotation
that the students wrote about in the introductory activity and ask students to discuss how this applies to the vignette.
Individually, students will list and explain at least two ways in which David Bryan and a Medal of Honor recipient they
have studied are alike.

Participation in the introductory activity, participation in class discussion, completion of small group activity including
share out, individual student list

Citizen Honors

Extended Activities:
Students will be asked to read the poem The Guy in the Glass written by Dale Wimbrow, explain its theme, and write
a short essay explaining how David Bryan’s actions relate to the theme of the poem.

The poem may be accessed at

Another literary piece that relates to the extended activity is a quotation from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act I,
Scene 3, Lines 78-82. Polonius is giving his son Laertes advice as he leaves to go to Paris.

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!

Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.
— William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act I, Scene 3, Line 78-82.

Citizen Honors - David Bryan

Additional Resources