Members of local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops gathered Thursday evening at Mount Washington Cemetery to lay flags on veterans’ graves.

Despite their young ages, the children seemed to understand the reason behind the upcoming holiday. Scouts saluted headstones and talked to their parents about Memorial Day’s significance. Meanwhile, a few Girl Scouts also prayed at the grave sites.

“For Memorial Day, we’re honoring the military,” 8-year-old Allison, a second-year girl Scout, explained. She added that her troop talked about their plans to put up flags for several weeks, and that she plans to enjoy Memorial Day by spending time with her cousin.

Ely, a 7-year-old Boy Scout, shared similar knowledge about Memorial Day.

“This is for the people who fought for our country,” he acknowledged as he bent down to straighten a flag.

Robert Buhrle, a local man who has been a Boy Scouts troop leader for 43 years, supervised the outing. He expressed pride in his scouts, who have visited the cemetery for the past six years. This year, he had over 20 members participate.

“I think they get a lot from it,” Buhrle said. “It really means so much for them.”

At Greenlawn Cemetery in Independence, Troop 42 from Lee’s Summit found a couple hundred graves of veterans to mark with flags.

At Woodlawn Cemetery in Independence, members of Troop 42 placed a couple hundred flags at grave sites of veterans, a task they’ve undertaken for several years now.

Luke Petet called the service a “really cool opportunity.”

“It lets us get to look at who served our country,” he said, “and lets us give proper respect to them.”

“I think it was a very respectful thing to do,” added fellow teenage Scout Grant Hitchcock, “and it’s just very humbling to see that these people could have died for our country.”


– The Examiner’s Mike Genet contributed to this report.