Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2017 BSA Memorial Day at Jefferson Barracks

My son has been a part of the Scouting program since he was in second grade.  And while he has had lots of great opportunities come his way, decorating at our city's national cemetery on Memorial Day is one he hasn't gotten to officially be a part of.  So, this year, when that opportunity came, we made sure to get on the list!  I loved getting to be a part of it and seeing everything up close and personal.  It was a beautiful tribute to our service men and women that have gone ahead.  Especially this year, with the loss of two WWII Vets in our family, both my husband's and my grandfather, in the last 6 months.

It was neat to see everything from the very beginning.  There are literally thousands of people that participate in this event.  Councils gather from our bi-state region and everyone from the little guys to the big guys come out to give a hand for this sacred tradition.  In the waiting though, the giggles and wiggles have to be gotten out.  We spent quite some time waiting to take our trek in.  We even had a ladybug friend spend time with us as we walked (and walked) our journey.

 When we finally arrived, we were able to join all of our groups together for a talk about the importance of our job on this day.  It was inspiring to hear our speaker, Brigadier General Randall Reed, call out the name of one local Scout to recognize, only to be told that while he was present, he would not be able to come forward, as he was buried at Jefferson Barracks.  It was certainly a moment to remind you that each headstone is personal and has a story.

Afterwards, the flag was lowered to half staff, and with assignments in hand, groups began to head to their designated area.

Due to the massive amount of Scouts of all ages, and their various family members, the thousands of graves to be decorated at Jefferson Barracks take less than an hour.

 Even though it is a quick task, it is an amazing one none the less.  I loved watching my children work together and my family get to be a small piece of the big puzzle.

 Once we were finished, we headed over to visit my husband's grandfather's grave.  This is the first time we have all been there together, and it was a beautiful reminder as to the reason we participate in an activity like this.  The kids got a quick drink to cool off from all the walking and heat, and we headed out.

I loved this final shot as we drove out of the cemetery and that two sweet little Cub Scouts knew to salute those that had served for them.  It was only once we were on the other side of the tree, that I saw a parent poised to photograph them.  Nonetheless, I loved that they were being taught to put their respect into action on a day dedicated to remembering the service members that have gone ahead of us.

Until next time, 

1 comment:

  1. I haven't been to grandpa's grave yet, and seeing the pic of his headstone made me cry. Nice photos, and I love that Aaron likes scouts.