Scouts to place American flags on veteran graves in preparation of Veterans Day

Boy Scout Joseph Hand and nearly 100 Scouts and volunteers will place American flags on the graves of veterans buried a Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery, on Saturday, Nov. 4.

The flag placement will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Greenwood Cemetery is located at 2300 W. Van Buren Street, in Phoenix.

“I chose this project after trying to visit my grandfather’s grave on Memorial Day,” Mr. Hand said in a prepared statement. “He was a veteran, but it took us a long time to find his grave. The flags should help those trying to find veteran graves on Veterans Day. It’s easy to find opportunities to help others if you look for them.”

Greenwood Cemetery is the final resting place of more than 5,000 veterans in veteran specific lots, according to David Watkins, general manager of the cemetery, and he estimates there may be as many as 15,000 veteran graves in the cemetery.

“We have veterans who served in the Cavalry, World War I, and all the way through those who died fighting terrorism,” said Mr. Watkins in a prepared statement. “We really appreciate the Boy Scouts support in honoring our veterans.”

Boy Scouts (photo by Wikimedia Commons)

Wayne Chatfield, chairman of the Americanism Committee of the American Legion, Department of Arizona, also commended Joseph for his Eagle project.

“I thank Joseph Hand for his efforts in honoring my fellow veterans on Veterans Day. I applaud his dedication to attain his Eagle Scout Badge,” Mr. Chatfield said in a prepared statement.

Mr. Hand is registered in Troop 285 of Grand Canyon Council, BSA. The troop is based in Chandler.

Mr. Hand is organizing and directing the flag placement for his Eagle Service Project. The service project is a requirement for an Eagle.

“While a Life Scout, (the Scout must) plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community,” Mr. Hand said, noting that the project must benefit an organization other than the Boy Scouts of America.

“A project proposal must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, (the Scout’s) Scoutmaster and unit committee, and the council or district before (the Scout) starts.”

This requirement is part of Scouting’s emphases on citizenship training, leadership development, and personal growth, the press release stated.

“If you want to get anything done,” Mr. Hand says, “You have to keep at it. I learned a lot getting ready for this project. This was not my first idea for a project, but I’m glad I got it right in choosing this one.”

Another requirement for the rank of Eagle is to earn a total of 21 merit badges, including these 13 merit badges:

  • First Aid
  • Citizenship in the community
  • Citizenship in the nation
  • Citizenship in the world
  • Communication
  • Cooking
  • Personal fitness
  • Emergency preparedness or lifesaving
  • Environmental science or sustainability
  • Personal management
  • Swimming, hiking or cycling
  • Camping
  • Family life.

In order to earn the Eagle, the Scout must also serve actively in the unit for six months in one or more positions of responsibility, such as patrol leader, senior patrol leader, troop guide, den chief, scribe, historian, or quartermaster.

In 2016, the Grand Canyon Council awarded 1,332 Boy Scouts the Eagle Scout Rank. These Eagle Scouts invested 192,237 service hours back into our community through their service projects. At roughly $23 per hour, they figure, these service projects helped save Arizona’s community $ 4,256,125, the press release stated. The end result is a strong investment in youth character and healthy communities.

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