As Memorial Day approaches, we all reflect on those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.
Two young men were encouraged by their Boy Scout leaders to contact the Schmitt-Manecke-Donner Veterans of Foreign Post 1638 to see if they could help with a project for their Eagle Scout requirements. Sam Peterson and Charles (Chucky) Wensel contacted Quartermaster Michele Rathke to receive instruction on the projects.
Sam Peterson chose to refurbish and repair the flag poles that hold the casket flags of our fallen veterans during the annual Memorial Day Ceremony at the Memorial Cemetery in Merrill. He had a crew of seven fellow Boy Scouts and three adults to assist and supervise the flag pole project. Sam and his crew took on the task of sanding, repainting and adjusting/attaching the equipment which holds the casket flags on the 15-foot flag poles.
Sam was in charge of ordering enough paint, coordinating saw horses to hold the 15-foot flag poles as the refurbishment took place. He also had to request the funds in a formal request to the VFW Post 1638 members to vote on the expenditure for the money to purchase the paint and equipment to complete his task of refinishing over 250 flag poles.
Chucky was instrumental in repairing and contrasting over 200 cemetery crosses. These crosses are used during the week up to and week after Memorial Day at five different locations throughout Merrill. The original crosses were created by Lloyd (Hinney) Hinz, back in the early 1970s. Therefore, the crosses needed a little TLC and repair.
Chucky was in charge of figuring out how much wood, paint and type of nails for a smooth finish; and equipment to make this project a success. Like Sam, Chucky also had to make a formal request to the VFW Post members to vote on the expenditures of his project. His crew of nine fellow Boy Scouts and four adults assisted and supervised the cross project.
“The VFW Post 1638 and Auxiliary would like to thank Boy Scout Troop 503 and their leaders for taking on the two projects as their Eagle Scout projects and wish them the best of luck in your future endeavors,” said Michele Rathke, VFW Post 1638 Quartermaster and 7th District Commander. “Due to these projects, the Memorial Cemetery and city of Merrill will show pride with the new or repainted crosses and flag poles.”