Cemetery memorialTroops plant flags on veterans' graves

Cemetery memorialTroops plant flags on veterans' graves

May 23rd, 2009 by Laura Galbraith in Local Regional News

Staff Photo by Gillian Bolsover -- Six-year-old Christopher Blackwell places a flag on a grave at the Chattanooga National Cemetery this morning. Hundreds of Boy and Girl Scouts came to the cemetery to take part in the annual event.

In preparation for Memorial Day, hundreds of young Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts gathered at the Chattanooga National Cemetery early Saturday to place American flags on more than 46,000 headstones.

The annual event included an opening ceremony at the Armed Forces Pavilion, complete with an invocation, the presentation of colors, a 21-gun salute and singing by the Choo Choo Chorus.

Rachelle Holmes, leader of Cub Scout Pack 67, from Varnell, Ga., said she thought the event would be an excellent learning experience, especially for her 10-year-old son, Trevor.

"On the way here, we explained a little bit about what it was, and they were all looking at the tombstones and were like, 'Wow, that's a lot of graves,'" she said. "I (hope) people get a sense of pride knowing that these people that are buried here either fought in a war or died in a war, and they represent the United States and freedom, kind of what the Scouts represent as well."

See Sunday's Times Free Press for complete coverage.