EDUCATION

Boy scouts decorate graves in honor of fallen troops

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Local boy scouts visited National Memorial Park in Falls Church this Memorial Day to pay their respects to veterans buried there.

“We're putting out flags for veterans and us armies for what they've done for us,” said 8-year-old Nicholas Byrd.

Nicholas and Natalie Byrd have a message for every veteran. “Thank you for fighting for us,” as 7-year-old Natalie said.

They joined a group of local scouts from Arlington and Falls Church at National Memorial Park today to place flags on every servicemember's grave.

“As a cub scout, it's important for him to learn about honor and respect and what better way to do it,” said Patricia Falls, the mother of a boy scout.

Eagle scout Karl Johnson placed a flag for his grandfather, whose name, the boy said, was Robert Reiss. “He served as Marine in World War II,” he said.

“One of his main jobs (was to) guard atomic bomb.” Cub scout Sebastian Malave paid tribute to two loved ones. “I placed a flag at each of my great-grandfathers' graves,” the 8-year-old said.

His mother Robin said he hopes that creates a closer connection to his ancestors.
“I just thought this would be a really nice way to remember them,” she said.

Brothers Gary and Glen Sullivan noticed the scouts while visiting their parents' grave. “It surprised me when I came over the hill and saw them,” said Gary Sullivan, a veteran himself. “My brother said- look at the boy scouts, I said ‘My God, that's nice isn't it?’”

Both Sullivans are Vietnam War veterans, and their father served in the military as well.
they say what the scouts did here today-- will always stick with them.

“I'll take it to my grave, I'll never forget it,” said Glen.

This is the first year the boy scouts have placed flags at National Memorial Park. The plan is to make it an annual Memorial Day tradition.

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