City of Clemson Honors Joseph Pope '21
The City of Clemson honored Heathwood alumnus Joseph Pope '21 and his roommate for pulling two people out of a burning truck. Joseph and his roommate Charles were driving back to their apartment early the morning of September 2nd, when they spotted the vehicle on fire. As they got closer, they realized the driver was still inside, unconscious. Charles grabbed a hammer from his truck and threw it to Joseph, who smashed the window. As the two pulled the driver out of the smoke-filled car, he mentioned another passenger inside. Joseph and Charles ran back to the truck, smashed the passenger window, and used all their strength to pry the damaged door open, carrying an unconscious, badly injured young lady to safety as flames engulfed the truck. They worked frantically to keep her alive until EMS could arrive and she could be airlifted from the scene.
Every firefighter, policeman and EMS First Responder at that scene that night showed up Monday to honor Joseph and Charles. They were each given a Life-Saving Award for their quick thinking and courageous actions. The young lady they rescued also spoke, thanking Joseph and Charles for saving her life.
Joe and wife Pamela Pope ‘88 parents of Joseph shared that for his actions, Joseph has been selected by the National Council, Boy Scouts of America, to receive the Honor Medal with Crossed Palms, the highest honor Scouting can bestow for heroic action and saving a life with extreme danger to oneself.
To put this in perspective, during the 100 years since this award was created in 1924, there have been around 130 million scouts, 30 million adult volunteers, and 2 1/2 million Eagle Scouts nationally. The Honor Medal with Crossed Palms has been awarded only 277 times. It is extremely rare, and we are extremely proud of both Joseph and Charles for their unselfish actions. This award has never before been presented to anyone in the Indian Waters Council or any of its predecessors, and we can find no instance of it ever being awarded in the state of South Carolina.