Local Scouts plant flags for Veterans at Mountain View

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In observance of the upcoming Veterans Day on November 11, local Scouts honored and remembered veterans buried at Mountain View Cemetery by placing flags on their graves on November 3.

Local Scout troops and packs observed Veterans Day by planting American flags on the graves of veterans at Mountain View Cemetery in Vinton on November 3 (by Debbie Adams).

The Scouts pay tribute to veterans in this way twice each year on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. This has become a tradition for the local scouts who are belong to the Great Valley District of the Blue Ridge Mountains Council.

Scout leaders and Scout parents say this flag planting activity provides a lesson in citizenship and patriotism for the Scouts. Patriotism, citizenship, and community service are core elements of the Scout experience.

Scouts from Packs 235 and 30 and Troops 235, 42, and 540 in Vinton and Roanoke County participated, along with their leaders and families.

Great Valley District Assistant District Commissioner Richard Cohen explained to the scouts how to determine which graves should have flags placed on them. In some cases, the graves of veterans are fairly easy to locate since newer markers usually indicate rank, branch of service and era, in addition to the name. Older graves often are not identified as belonging to a veteran.

Scout Sam Geist of Vinton plants a flag on the grave of World War II veteran John Holpp, Jr. (by Debbie Adams).

The Scouts scattered out across the cemetery searching for markers of all those who had served in the United States Armed Forces, placing about 1000 flags around the cemetery.

Other leaders in attendance included Dale Ferebee, District Unit Commissioner and Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 42, Pack 235 Cubmaster Ryan Apple, Wolfpack Leader for Pack 235 John Johnson, and Troop 235 Scoutmaster Greg Leslie.