One of the lessons we learned from the Memorial Day grave dressings is that our cemetaries in North Star need a lot of tender loving care. I took some photos of Fall Creek Cemetary at just eat of the 4000 block of Keystone at Millersville Rd. (Unfortunately, I don’t have my camera with me to post the photo. I will try to post it here later.)
The fencing and edging looked like something out of Scooby Doo.
There are reportedly a number of Pioneer Cemetaries in the District that need some clean up.
While Eagle Projects cannot involve maintenance like mowing, they can beautify and restore weathered older facilities. Troop 343 recently had an example of that.
Also in placing Memorial Flags at the cemetaries, we saw how many veterans were not getting flags placed at their graves. Our mission Saturday was to place flags at past members of the American Legion. Not all veterans are members of the American Legion. That means that many were skipped, even though their gravestones clearly identify their unit of service and often the war in which they served.
This lends an opportunity to an Eagle Candidate to help assure that we can better serve these late veterans and their families. I don’t know what Crown Hill has on record about the veterans buried there. I have asked for better maps from them. Hopefully we will find out at the District Committee meeting tomorrow when Crown Hill’s staff might visit us.
Think about Eagle Projects for all of these cemetaries in our District. There are plenty of opportunities for lasting effects from our Eagles.
Memorial Day is upon us for 2017. The American Legion would like to invite all of the North Star District for breakfast. The district will make a short trip to Crown Cemetery and put decorations on veteran’s graves in honor of their service. We should be done before lunch.
Date: Saturday, May 27, 2017
Time: 7:30 to 8:00 AM
Breakfast location: Broad Ripple American Legion Post # 3, 6379 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN
Yours in Scouting,
North Star District Committee
American Legion Post 3 in Broad Ripple is assisting Crossroads Veterans Services with their drive to collect bicycles for veterans during the month of August.
Bikes to Vets is a program by Crossroads Veteran Services. The program will accept bicycles in good working order and distribute them to Veterans who need transportation assistance to get to a bus stop or their place of employment. Donated bicycles may be tagged with the name of the organization making the donation and will be given to Veterans who lack dependable transportation.
If you will donate a bicycle in good working order, bring it to the American Legion Post #3, 6379 N. College Ave. (Broad Ripple) not later than August 31st or contact Dan Cunningham at 317-697-7994 for pick up.
Thank you for helping a veteran!
Our Packs and Troops made a mighty contribution to honor our deceased service members. Various units made their contributions at different times and different cemeteries. Here is a sampling of some of the stories and scenes that I have collected from this year’s efforts.
American Legion Post #3 in Broad Ripple hosted their annual breakfast this past Saturday morning. Representatives from Packs 18, 35, and 830 (and a recent graduate of Pack 179) and Troops 18, 35, 56, and 269 were present to my knowledge. The Post’s organizer of the event, long-time North Star Scouter Rees Morgan, emcee’d the breakfast. The scouts enjoyed a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, and other nibbles. Scout parents (uniformed and non-uniformed) squeezed into the back dining room. The Post is looking forward to completing its remodel of the main meeting room, because they had hoped to have 80 scouts and scouters attend. Instead we packed in 101 scouts and scouters! They need the bigger room.
At the conclusion of the breakfast, Mr. Morgan assigned packs and troops to specific cemeteries. This post mostly covers Union Chapel Cemetery near Keystone at the Crossing and part of Crown Hill Cemetery near the Indianapolis Art Museum. The cemetery pictures above are from the Union Chapel group.
Some older scouts attended as part of our Firecrafter Ember’s contribution to the service project.
Traditionally our Zionsville scouts and scouters work in conjunction with the Zionsville American Legion Post. I do not have any details about their service this year. (Stories and pictures are welcome so that I can update this story.)
Troops 56 and 514 and Pack 514 participated in grave dressing in conjunction with other American Legion Posts. Some of the pictures that Troop 514 Scoutmaster Michael Rodriguez provided to me are below.
Troop 343 meets at Bethel United Methodist Church in Pike Township. Their Scoutmaster Ron Wells sent me the following story:
Troop 343, based out of the northwestside of Indianapolis, has once again placed American flags on the graves of veterans buried in the Bethel Cemetery located in the 5200 block of West 52nd St. Scoutmaster Ron Wells had been mulling over taking over the flag detail for some time and finally contacted the cemetery’s caretaker, Sandra Profant last year.
The Profant family has been maintaining the grounds and placing flags at the cemetery for several decades. Needless to say, Sandra was relieved to pass on her detailed maps, a box of flags, and her own self-assembled binder containing research she found on some of the true heroes of our country to the troop! Last November the troop assembled in darkness and less than favorable conditions to place the flags for Veteran’s Day.
Last Monday, the troop performed flawlessly under more inviting weather and lighting conditions and placed over 200 flags. Our troop has always placed a high value on patriotism, wearing the Scout uniform properly, and respecting those brave citizens who served our country.
Thank you to all the scouts, scouters, and scout families who participated this year to make this a wonderful and memorable event.
North Star District through historic relationships between its Zionsville units and the Zionsville American Legion Post and between some of its Washington Township units and Post #3 of the American Legion (where OA and Firecrafter monthly meetings are held) have honored deceased service members for years.
This year, the District and Troop 56 are working on adding American Legion Post #153 (54th St and Keystone area) to the Posts that we serve.
If your unit is not currently helping to place flags on deceased service members graves in the month of May, in preparation for Memorial Day, please contact Jeff Heck to work with one of these posts.
This is a very important service. As Jerry Gould, a Korean War veteran, explained on Monday night, each post is especially responsible for placing flags on the graves of their deceased members. Unfortunately their membership is aging and can no longer provide the service adequately by themselves. They need the scouts and scouting families to provide the manpower.
Please help with this important Duty to Country task.
The posts have different methods for handling this. Some work on a scheduled basis. Other posts schedule around the scout units’ schedules. We can help direct you to the post that best fits your unit’s needs.
Spring Camporee Success. The Firecrafters of the North Star Ember would like to extend a warm thank you to all the troops who came out and participated in the Spring Camporee. One of the goals of our organization is to encourage continued participation by our youth in camping, outdoor activities, and Scouting. The activities and fellowship promoted at district camporees is a great opportunity that benefits these goals.
Importance of Scouts in Flag Retirement. At the evening campfire, we were excited to be given the opportunity to perform a flag retirement ceremony. The Boy Scouts is one of the largest organizations that gives communities opportunities to have worn American Flags properly retired. Organizations that also offer this service include the American Legion Post, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and other civic associations. Using flags donated by the Broad Ripple American Legion, one of our service projects for the year will be a flag retirement this Sunday, May 1st.
Invitation to Units and Scouts. We would like to invite Scouting members of the North Star District to attend. We will not just be retiring flags, but also answering any questions you have about proper flag retirement. This may be of great value to upcoming Firecrafter candidates, if they want to include a flag retirement as part of the candidate campfire. One of our goals in carrying out this service project is educating you in this area. We hope to improve your confidence so that in the future, you might consider conducting a retirement as a troop service project or include in your troop ceremonies.
Where: Second Presbyterian Church
7700 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260
(fire ring in picnic area at north end of the parking lot)
When: Sunday, May 1, 2016
Time: 1:00-2:00 PM
What: North Star Firecrafter Flag Retirement Seminar
The weather for Sunday is not predicted to be as beautiful as the camporee weather. In the event it is raining between 1:00 and 2:00, the meeting will be at the Broad Ripple American Legion Post #3 at 6379 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46220. We will still have a mock retirement and answer questions from an inside location.
North Star Ember Chief
North Star Ember Advisor