On November 4th, Scouts BSA Troop 295 of Cypress, hosted the Veterans Day annual flag planting event at Forest Lawn Memorial Park & Cemetery in Cypress. Troop 295 is sponsored by American Legion Post 295, also located in Cypress, and led by Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster, Andrew Pilger and Joe Lum, respectively.
Approximately 400 adult and youth volunteers, including Scouts, Girl Scouts, and other youth participants, gathered to place an American flag on the gravesite of every veteran and first responder, in tribute to their service and sacrifice for protecting American citizens and the Constitution. In total, over 4,000 flags were placed to celebrate our heroes.
Troop 295 Scouts provided the color guard to open up the ceremony, led by Richard Birch, Jr., who also presided as master of ceremony. Scout Kyle Mundala played taps on his trumpet before the flag salute and Nick Pilger played an excellent rendition of the National Anthem on his electric guitar. City of Cypress Mayor, Anne Mallari, expressed the importance of our community recognizing those who put themselves at risk to protect our citizens and honoring their legacy. She will also be helping Troop 295 Scouts complete the Citizenship of the Community merit badge during the following weeks.
Mayor Mallari was joined by City of Cypress City Council members, Scott Minikus and Frances Marquez (her nephew, Anthony Munoz, was an Eagle Scout with Troop 295) John Gibson, Commander of American Legion Post 295, was the final speaker who explained the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, honors those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces – whether in wartime or times of peace. Veterans Day serves to remember those who died in service to the U.S. Gibson ended his comments with his feelings about his fellow veterans, “When I entered the military, there were people I would not have reached out to know because of how they sounded, looked, or where they came from. But once you’re in the military, you realize that everyone is equal and has the same goal – we’re all Americans. That’s what’s important.” An important message for adults and youth alike.
Looking out over the Forest Lawn cemetery as the adult and youth volunteers carefully place flags on veterans and first responders, one couldn’t help but feel a sense of community and pride.
A special thank you is gratefully extended to Andrew O’Hare, Director of Events at Forest Lawn, and his staff, for making this special Veterans Day event possible. Congratulations to the Scouts of Troop 295 for planning and hosting this outstanding annual community event.