Boy Scout Tradition Irrationally Banned

Boy Scout Tradition Irrationally Banned

A tradition that has been part of the Boy Scout culture for decades is being banned this year. Boy Scouts annually plant flags at veteran graveyards for Memorial Day. This tradition is also shared with the Girl Scouts and other groups, but has been canceled due to COVID-19.

The Boy Scouts and similar groups have been keeping this tradition alive for decades. This year, however, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has prohibited public events in light of the pandemic. Meaning the groups will not be able to place flags at the graves.

Long Island, NY, has two national military cemeteries containing more than 500,000 buried veterans. There have been demands that the VA reconsider and dismiss the ban. Steve Bellone, Suffolk County executive, is among those voices calling for the reversal of the decision. Suffolk County includes both the Calverton and Long Island National cemeteries, holding more than any other military cemetery in the US.

Boy Scouts Troop 443 out of Middle Island, NY place thousands of flags on the graves every year in the Calverton National Cemetery. The 18-year-old Eagle Scout Kieran Monaghan has been one of the scouts to place a flag by the headstones for the past five years. He and Bellone are confident that there will be a way for the scouts to carry on the tradition safely.

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