More than 100 scouts place flags on around 9000 graves to honor

More than 100 scouts place flags on around 9000 graves to honor the fallen

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One of those groups is local boy and girl scouts, who spent Saturday decorating the graves of fallen soldiers at cemeteries in Knoxville. One of those groups is local boy and girl scouts, who spent Saturday decorating the graves of fallen soldiers at cemeteries in Knoxville.
More than 100 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts from Knox County troops placed more than 9000 flags on the tombstones of the local men and women buried in Knoxville National Cemetery. More than 100 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts from Knox County troops placed more than 9000 flags on the tombstones of the local men and women buried in Knoxville National Cemetery.
Many of the scouts have participated in the project for years and say they wouldn't miss the chance to pay tribute to those who have served. Many of the scouts have participated in the project for years and say they wouldn't miss the chance to pay tribute to those who have served.
By Hayley Harmon
6 News Reporter/Anchor

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Over Memorial Day weekend, no doubt thousands of East Tennesseans will be visiting cemeteries across the area to remember those who died in service to our country.

One of those groups is local boy and girl scouts, who spent Saturday decorating the graves of fallen soldiers at cemeteries in Knoxville.

More than 100 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts from Knox County troops placed more than 9000 flags on the tombstones of the local men and women buried in Knoxville National Cemetery.

"I just feel that it's a wonderful thing that we are doing," said Eric Washington, assistant troop leader of Knox County Boy Scout Troop 238.

"There's not an experience like it to see all these graves and help decorate them," said Thomas Bates, an eagle scout with Troop 55.

It's an annual project Boy Scouts of America has held for the last 15 years on the Saturday before Memorial Day to focus on what the holiday is really about.

"To remind people that as they drive by the cemetery and see the flags on the tombstones that they remember what the weekend is for," said Chris Agee of Boy Scouts of America.

Agee says it helps the scouts, from as young as first grade up to seniors in high school, learn about the sacrifice made for them by others.

"Remember the people in our community who have given for the country and given for them to have the opportunity to not only live in this country and be part of this community but be in Boy Scouts," said Agee.

"Because if you can appreciate the sacrifice of one individual who gave their life in service to this country to purchase our freedom, and then multiply that by the sheer number of tombstone that are here, then you can really get an understanding of the high price that has been paid for us," said Steven Sword, a US Army veteran who spoke at Saturday's event.

Many of the scouts have participated in the project for years and say they wouldn't miss the chance to pay tribute to those who have served.

"It's a good way to remember them and what they've done for us," said Zach Manges of Knox County Boy Scout Troop 55.

"Without those to fight for us and those who have sacrificed everything, we would have no country like we have it today," said Bates.

Along with the scouts and their families, many volunteers also came out to help decorate the cemetery.
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