“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to teach our kids about the people who have gone before us, and show them respect. It’s a beautiful ritual, and the field goes from being an open green lawn to being a forest of flags.” Girl Scout Troop Leader JT Swanson, of Troop #5635 said that she loves to take her girls to the annual ceremony.
It was an early morning on Saturday May 28 for many Culver City Scout troops. Girls Scouts, Boy Scouts and Adventure Scouts headed out to the Veteran’s Cemetery in Westwood for the holiday ritual of laying flags on the graves.
“It is something I look forward to every year,” said Jerry Weiner, leader of Boy Scout Troop #108 “It’s very meaningful for myself and for my boys. We’ve been doing this for years, and the boys love it. We get a lot out of the ritual and the connection.”
Swanson noted, “There are not a lot of places in our culture where children have a chance to connect with the dead. Our lives have become so separate from all that.”
An annual scout tradition that reaches back decades, in many cases it is a child’s first experience with a graveyard. Connecting this to the practice of war gives the scouts the knowledge that our policies have a cost far greater than dollars.
As we celebrate the holiday, we need to keep at the forefront the reality that this is a day of remembrance for those whose military service ended in sacrifice, and respect that democracy requires not just maintenance, but beautification.
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