With bowed heads and hearts filled with equal parts pride and sadness, a small army of men, women and children solemnly walked from gravestone to gravestone at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery on Friday evening, carefully placing American flags 12 inches away from each headstone. Just in time for Memorial Day on Monday, May 30.

Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas, Boy Scouts of AmericaAlamo Area Council, San Antonio Young Marines, and a host of other military service and youth organizations invited veterans, active duty soldiers, and corporate and community volunteers to participate in the local tradition that mirrors ceremonies across the nation that honor the lives lost to U.S. wars and military operations around the world.  

“By reciting the Girl Scout Promise Girl Scouts make an oath to serve their country,” stated retired Maj. Gen. Angie Salinas USMC, CEO of the local Girl Scouts chapter, in a news release. “But our girls do it not because of obligation, but because they are proud to say they honored our heroes. We are proud to participate in this important event that honors our fallen service members.”

About 500 people attended the ceremonies that started with an opening assembly. One Girl Scout, Samantha Zink, took extra special care with each flag she placed. With a father in Afghanistan who left when she was two, she knows the weight each flag and headstone carries.

“The Alamo Area Council is happy to see our youth do a ‘good turn’ and pay respects to the armed forces as part of our duty to the community,” stated Alamo Area Council Scout Executive Michael de los Santos. “Service, duty to God and duty to country play essential roles in the traditions of the Boy Scouts of America.”


Top Image: Gregory of Pack 285 leads his troop through the cemetery with a guiding flag.  Photo by Kathryn Boyd-Batstone. 

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Kathryn Boyd-Batstone

Kathryn Boyd-Batstone is a California native and a graduate of the University of Oregon. She moved to San Antonio in December 2015 to join The Rivard Report team as photographer and videographer.