For Immediate Release:
Oakland County scouts honor Memorial Day with service
Scouts across Oakland County honored those who made the ultimate sacrifice this Memorial Day weekend, carrying out multiple service projects and serving as flag details in parades across southeast Michigan.
“Scouts carry out service projects because it is part of our duty to God and Country,” Dane Bezemek, Scouting’s local chairman and member of Holly Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5587, said. “It is also part of our history.”
Scouting has maintained longstanding partnerships with local cemeteries, and thousands of youth across the state put flags adjacent to the headstones of those who served to mark the holiday, working alongside veterans groups and other volunteers. Troop 366 even erected crosses in downtown Oxford bearing the names of residents who gave everything in conflicts from the Civil War to the Vietnam War.
In Davisburg, Pack 192 and Troop 192 placed American flags on the lawns of any residents who requested them. In total, the youth distributed over 100 flags before the holiday, and they will retrieve them in the coming days. Still others carried the nation’s colors in parades. Lake Orion scouts marched in one such procession, though the flag they bore was far larger than most. Affectionately nicknamed “Flagosaurus” by some youth, the massive banner required dozens of youth from multiple units to carry it along the parade route.
“A couple of years ago, Pack 233 acquired it from a business that was getting rid of it,” Derek Krentz, scoutmaster of Lake Orion Troop 284, said. “Someone added pulls to it, fixed the frayed edges, and now they bring it out for stuff like this.”
The Boy Scouts of America are among only a handful of organizations that retire American flags worn beyond possible repair. The traditional ceremony calls for flags to be cremated in a dignified manner. Many units perform these rites to coincide with Memorial Day or Flag Day.
Members of Pack 182, Troop 128, Troop 185 and Troop 810 retired 20 flags on Memorial Day at Drayton Plains Nature Center in Waterford. Bugler Nathan Beutler played “Taps” as boys and girls from the units processed and gently placed each tattered flag atop the flames.
“I hope the scouts learned the true meaning of Memorial Day,” Pack 182 Cubmaster Chris Landrum said. “We teach them that a scout is reverent. It’s one thing to teach them, but it brings new meaning when we show them. It is our honor to show the next generation how to honor the tradition.”