May

31

1930s Boy Scouts CampI'm going to keep this year's Memorial Day thoughts short.

What is Memorial Day about?

I went with my son's Boy Scout Troop to Jefferson Barracks Cemetery today as we always do on Memorial Day. Today was the 62nd year that the Scouts had gathered to honor the soldiers buried there by place flags on their graves.

It was a moving site. 5,000 Scouts showed up, plus adults. The heat was oppressive. And although the talks were no longer than usual, they seemed a bit longer today in the heat. Still when it came time to place the flags, the scouts dispersed in an orderly fashion and went about their task in a reverent manner.

Sure, there was frivolity (boys will be boys), but for the most part, it was a moving site.

Because there we so many Scouts, there wasn't enough flags for the all the adults. So I gave my flags to a "flag-less" scout and opted to stand in the shade….not out of laziness, mind you (although it was nice), but to make sure all the Scouts had an opportunity to place their flags on the soldiers graves…..something I've had the privilege of doing many times.

To stand there and watch the boys work was especially heartwarming this year….especially after listening to one of the talks at the flag raising ceremony…..for this speaker spoke of two former scouts from our group who had fought in the middle east. One had died and was recently buried, the other, had lost both of his legs. Both former scouts from our BSA Council. Both stood where these boys were standing now around this same flag pole, listening to the same bagpipe band, listening to speakers. Both placed flags on the graves in this cemetery, just as the boys 5,000 boys gathered around that flag pole were about to do that day..

Now, one of them was without his legs……and the other……..well the other was waiting for his flag.

Remember these men and the millions of others just like them. That is what Memorial Day is about.


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