Courtesy of the LA Times:
While discussing Arlington’s outdated record-keeping over dinner one night last summer, Ricky â€” who had just gotten an A in his Programming 1 class at school â€” announced, “I can fix that…”
Ricky didn’t have his driver’s license yet, so he hitched a ride with his mom on her 45-minute commute from their home in Stafford, Va., to her workplace in Washington. He hopped the Metro the rest of the way to the cemetery…
One afternoon while he was out here taking pictures, a woman asked, “What number is my son?” She wanted to know where he fell in a casualty count that is nearing 6,000 for both wars. Ricky couldn’t answer her, but later he told his mom that he didn’t want them to be numbers; he wanted them to be remembered as people….
He spent afternoons in a bookstore poring over Web development manuals for the right program language to create the site. At night, in his family’s study, his computer hooked up to a 40-inch flat screen and his keyboard on a snack table in front of the couch, he input hundreds of names, photos, links to obituaries and newspaper accounts; he created a space to blog tributes.
For me, this story is about how an 11th grader responded faster to the needs of the nation than the Army. His project is another example of how the the proliferation of web/programming skills changes our expectations for large, bureaucratic organizations. Tech-wise, his project isÂ relativelyÂ simple. His genius lies in responding to a need without waiting for someone else (the Army) to do it.
- On Midrats 1 March 15 – Episode 269: “National Strategy and the Navy’s Proper Role in it”
- The Struggle to Think
- The Defence Debate â€“ why the UK needs to change the subject
- Humility and Service as a Leader – Learning what MCPON has Learned
- On Midrats 22 Feb 2015, 5pm – Episode 268: 21st Century Sims