Our Scouts participate in society as responsible citizens. They acquire knowledge of responsible citizenship and the value of being good citizens in several ways. For example, our Scouts choose, organize, and lead their own meetings, programs, and activities, governing themselves via democratic principles. By doing so, our Scouts understand they have a vote and that vote counts. They understand just how vital our essential freedoms are.
We value military service, and all forms of public service. And as Scout Programs which encourage the value of living a life of purpose, we encourage our Scouts to serve their greater communities.
Our Scouts develop an appreciation of how to be a responsible citizen by participation in our Scout Programs. We enable our Scouts to acquire knowledge of responsible citizenship through hands-on volunteer activities. Our Scouts volunteer at the election polls where appropriate and take part in other citizenship activities.
One of the activities our Scouts participate in is being present along the funeral route of a solider killed during active duty, as well as law enforcement and firefighters killed in the line of duty, in addition to others. Our Scouts line the route of the funeral procession to show respect and gratitude.
Details of the Activity
Scouts stand approximately 20 feet apart on the route of the funeral procession. Scouts should never be out of sight-line of other Scouts for their own safety.
Some of our Scouts hold flags. The can hold larger flags or smaller flags. The flags can be obtained from flag shops, where they can be purchased or borrowed, or borrowed from local businesses or from home. Those holding flags do not salute because the American flag is never dipped in salute.
Some of our Scouts salute. Those Scouts not holding flags will salute when the casket passes by, and stop saluting when the casket is out of sight. Our salute is: right arm bent at shoulder height, four fingers with thumb tucked in, at a 45 degree angle across the eyebrow.
Our Scouts continue to stand safely by the side of the road until the entire funeral procession has passed.
Our Scouts Show Respect
Lining along the funeral route of fallen heroes has the benefit of helping our Scouts understand that someone gave their life for their benefit, for the benefit of all citizens, and the benefit of our nation. Wars can often be a source of disagreement for us as citizens, but it does not matter what one’s opinion on the conflict is. Those who gave their lives for the greater good deserve to be honored and recognized and our Scouts do that. Our Scouts also honor fallen law enforcement and firefighters who lost their lives protecting us here at home.
We thought about this activity, wondering if our Scouts would find it sad or depressing, and if youth should be subjected to the harsh realities of life. We understand it may be upsetting to our Scouts, but then again, the death of any person who sacrificed on behalf of others, particularly a young person, is upsetting to everyone.
Participation in this activity will spark conversation and ultimately help our Scouts because more responsible citizens and lend them a better understanding of the value of every life.
Sometimes the soldiers, law enforcement, and firefighters killed in the line of duty are not much older than our North Star Scouts. Our Scouts need to appreciate that someone not much older than themselves gave the ultimate sacrifice so they and we all could be safe and free.
Our Scouts are in big cities and small towns all over the United States. They stand to show support for those who made the ultimate sacrifice and they stand to show their support for their country. Our Scouts stand by the roadside; they stand for freedom, they stand for justice, and they stand to show respect for the fallen hero.
Our Scouts’ own small sacrifice in lining the funeral procession regardless of the weather will help contribute to our Scouts becoming the leaders of tomorrow. Whatever thoughts and feelings our Scouts take away from the experience, they will use that knowledge when they are the ones making decisions and leading our country.