Boy Scout Troop 301 continues longtime Memorial Day tradition

·3 min read

May 31—ANDERSON — The members of Boy Scout Troop 301 stood at attention Monday, ready to post and secure the U.S. flag for the Memorial Day ceremony.

A few minutes later, the theme song of each branch of the U.S military played in the background as the individual branch flags were posted, or raised, and secured.

Finally, Devin Henson, 12, and Aaron Bauman, 18, took their turns laying wreaths.

"I was nervous in front of a crowd, but I did it," said Devin, a sixth grader at Anderson Preparatory Academy.

The ceremony was one of many that took place throughout Madison County and in nearby communities to honor the fallen.

Devin said one day he hopes to join the military, probably as a Marine.

"It was very respectful that I got to do that, to honor the veterans."

Bauman, who lives in Noblesville but is formerly of Anderson, said he has laid the wreath several times through the years for Memorial Day ceremonies.

"It means a lot to honor the heroes who have given the ultimate sacrifice."

Keynote speaker state Sen. Timothy Lanane, D-Anderson, said Memorial Day was important for both the nation and the community. However, he said, those who have served do not always receive their due, either in the way they are remembered or they way they are treated once their service ends.

Lanane said he recently came across a survey in which many did not understand that Memorial Day specifically honors those who have passed away, and some really just thought it was a day for cookouts and recreation.

"It's important, I think, for everyone to know Memorial Day is to honor those who gave their all," he said. "We owe you for so much that we will never be able to say."

One way to say it, however, is to help veterans with their post-service needs, including a lack of mental health care that often leads to suicide, plus the burgeoning costs of housing, Lanane said.

"Our veterans have postwar needs we need to address," he said. "As a state, we need to be better. We need to make sure no veterans are living in poverty."

Emily Carter attended the ceremony with her husband, Marllon "Wayne" Carter, a retired veteran of the U.S. Air Force, because they come from a military family that includes his father, who was a World War II Army Corps pilot.

"We try to come here almost every year," she said. "We have several children in the service. Now we have several grandchildren in several places around the U.S."

Tony Gwaltney, who helped organize the event attended by about 100 people, said having it was an important part of handing down the history to future generations.

"If it weren't for the men and women we're here to honor this morning, we wouldn't able to do this. We wouldn't be able to have cookouts. We wouldn't be able to have races."

Follow Rebecca R. Bibbs on Twitter at @RebeccaB_THB, or call 765-640-4883.