Sr. District Executive & Operations Marketing Lead 2/21/23
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Scout Dons Uniform for Ceremony at Arlington

A local Scout received a rare opportunity during a recent school trip to Washington D.C., as he
placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Ceremony while
wearing his uniform.
Alex Burke, 14, participates in the Scouting program through Lake Orion Troop 284 along with
Clarkston Troop 185 and attends Oakview Middle School. As part of this year’s 8th grade class trip
to Washington D.C., four youth were selected to participate in the wreath ceremony. In order to
be considered, students were asked to submit an essay on why they should be chosen to represent
their community at the site.
In his essay, Burke explained that the tomb has a deep significance to his family. Five generations
of his family members have been called to serve in the US military, including several Purple Heart
“I wanted to honor all of the people inside and outside of my family who gave their lives to protect
this country,” Burke said.
On learning he had been selected, Burke also determined to wear his Scout uniform for the event.
“I thought it would be good representation of Scouts and what we do,” Burke said. “It was a good
opportunity to show people that we do a lot for the community.”
Assistant Scoutmaster Rob Pote, a retired lieutenant colonel, helped Burke prepare for the
ceremony. A well-known keystone of the Scouting movement in Oakland County, Pote taught
Burke the basics of military drill.
“I really wanted to do it the proper way, the respectful way,” Burke said. “I wanted to learn all the
moves perfectly. He showed me how to march, how to turn and about the importance of the tomb
Though Burke admitted to feeling nervous, he and his classmates performed the ceremony
perfectly, with all due reverence and respect. According to his mother, it was a deeply moving
“My heart was filled with pride,” Charity Burke said. “I think he did wonderful. He honored his
troop, his school, his community, his family and all of the unknown soldiers.”

Picture 1: Rob Pote instructs Burke on the basics of drill in preparation for the ceremony.
Picture 2: Burke stands at attention next to the tomb.