LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - From the day they first raised their hands to swear on their honor, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts committed themselves to service.
This Saturday before Memorial Day, hundreds would turn out to remember each of the almost 14,000 laid to rest at Zachary Taylor National Cemetery - veterans of conflicts dating from the Spanish-American War to this century's War on Terror.
"I always prayed that we'd be able to honor those who served for us and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country," said groundskeeper Kris McGrew, an Air Force veteran who served in Iraq from 2001 to 2007.
In less than an hour, Scouts would mark each headstone with the Stars & Stripes.
"We had some in our pack, they had grandfathers that had passed, and they were veterans," said pack leader Everett "June" Bradford, an Army veteran who repaired helicopters during the Vietnam War.
"They were trying to find the grave site here and this is a good idea for them to let them know what they could do to help our country better by staying together."
The markers leave room for little more than a name, rank, branch and time of service. But the number of graves drives home the scope of the sacrifice and the price of freedom.
Alex Thiesing, 7, a Bobcat in Cub Scout Pack 273, marveled at some of the inscriptions. "How old they are," he said, "and how old they were when they died."
That's especially important for his father, who believes too many Americans take such sacrifices for granted.
"The wars are overseas," Andrew Thiesing said. "And the kids don't really understand what these people are giving and the service they're giving."
The lessons are clear. "I would be a little frightened for (son Alex) to go into the military," Thiesing said ."But I would also be proud at the same time that he would make the choice to serve his country."
"People are still going, people are still dying for this country," Bradford said. "Long as we keep this country safe, that's what it's all about."
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