Johnson City

Scouts use more than 20,000 flags to honor fallen soldiers

Scouts Honor Fallen Soldiers

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - More than 400 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts gathered at the Mountain Home National Cemetery to honor the fallen soldiers buried there.

"We are putting down flags for the people who died in wars," said Jaron Vermette, a 9-year-old Webelos Scout.

Volunteers handed the Scouts thousands of flags, which they placed row-by-row until each grave was marked. The Scouts saluted each grave after they placed the flag.

"It's just really neat to watch the respect that comes over their face as they stand up to salute these soldiers," said Melissa Burrow, a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader.

She told us, with every flag, the Scouts learn more about what this holiday weekend represents.

"It's more than just the barbecue and the boating events," Burrow said. "They're here to remember why we actually have Memorial Day."

Organizer Ralph Moats has been involved with this event for more than 40 years, ever since he was a Boy Scout. Moats told us this activity hits home for many of the Scouts.   

"A lot of these young men and women have relatives buried out here so they get the chance to honor them," said Moats.

He told us many of those Scouts went out ahead of the crowd, to mark the graves of their loved-ones.

We're told the Scouts came from across 16 counties in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

They've been holding this event for more than 50 years. This was the first year the Girl Scouts were invited.

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