Scouts get Oklahoma City cemetery ready for Memorial Day

Boy and Girl Scouts placed nearly 5,000 flags on the graves of veterans at Memorial Park in Oklahoma City.
BY KYLE SCHWAB kschwab@opubco.com Published: May 25, 2013

Boy Scouts had little concern for the weather as they gathered at Memorial Park Cemetery to place American flags on veterans' graves.

“Even if it rains, we won't melt,” said Bob Gray, Eagle District chairman. “What veterans have gone though, we can certainly stand out in the rain.”

Thursday started out as a rainy day, but the sun had appeared by the time 200 Boy Scouts and a few Girl Scouts fanned out over the cemetery with nearly 5,000 flags.

In 2006, the Scouts took over the Memorial Day weekend duty from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion.

“I make sure the flags are set out, keep people running, watch for stragglers, keep giving out assignments, and make sure it all runs smoothly,” said Dan Williams, the Boy Scout in charge of the event.

“It's a good time to celebrate our veterans and show how much we appreciate what they do,” said Josh Bruza, a Star Scout. “They fight for our freedom, and because of all they went through is how we get to live like this today.”

Michael Vallejo said he knows what he is doing is for a great cause. When asked what he would say to a fallen vet today if he could, Vallejo said, “I would say thank you for your service and unselfishness.”

Vallejo said the cemetery donates the flags. After Memorial Day, the Scouts will go back and collect the flags.

Gray, who has been involved with Scouting for 50 years, said the event supports the families of veterans and gives the youths a sense of accomplishment and purpose.

“We see families and widows. They appreciate that the boys do this, and this gives the boys appreciation of what God and country is all about,” he said. “There's a lot of things wrong with this country, but there's a lot of things right with it, and this is one of those right things.”

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