Scouts Among Groups Honoring Vets At Cemetery

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Knoxville (WVLT) -- Today a simple, solemn tribute was carried out honoring our nations brave defenders.

It also served as a history lesson and a chance to teach both the young and the old the cost of freedom.

"Very, very fascinating. Catholic, Lutheran, Celtics, Methodist," said a boy scout from the Great Smoky Mountain Council.

Stone etched legacies.

"We're having a little problem with the ground today," said Tom Bruno, a member of the East Tennessee Harley Owners Group. "It's kind of hard."

Placards being memorialized with a simple tribute.

"Can't call it really an effort," Bruno said, "these guys did all the hard work. We're just putting in little flags just to remember."

Over one hundred fifty different people, ranging in ages as diverse as the stories they're honoring.

"The boys were pointing out to me that there are crosses," said Jeff Cravens, Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 140. "There are some that have a Star of David, and there are some that have what looked like a teepee with flowers on it."

"Oh he died young or he served a lot," said Jamie Wright, who is the daughter and sister of war veterans. "We've had several of them that they've served in very unique places."

"I was wondering, judging by the name, if it was an Islamic sign," a troop member said. "I've seen many if them."

A sense of respect and reverence is shared. For Herbert and his daughter Jamie, a family bond is as strong as the stars and strips.

"It connects us in a way that we might not have been able to," said Jamie Wright.

A long line of fallen or passed soldiers are decorated with unwavering support, but Jamie hopes that when her brother David, who is currently serving in Iraq receives such an honor, it will be later in life.

"I am hoping that I'm not going to have to do this for him anytime before he's a really old man," Wright said.

And seen through the eyes of an old vet, the thanks can be a learning experience for all.

"And so on down the line there's been men like him all down through the wars of this country who as willing to step forward for the freedom we enjoy now," said Vietnam War veteran Charles Cross.

A scout master hopes these lessons leave an indelible mark.

"If I can pass on this feeling of patriotism and love for country to the boys that I work with as scoutmaster, I count that as success," said Cravens.

Organizers say this is the event's largest turnout.

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