Hundreds turn out in the rain to place flags at Mountain Home National Cemetery

Brandon Paykamian • May 26, 2018 at 11:15 PM

The pouring rain didn’t stop hundreds of local residents from gathering at Mountain Home National Cemetery Saturday morning for their annual Memorial Day weekend flag ceremony.

Through the course of the 45-minute event, about 500 Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and local volunteers placed flags at each of the nearly 18,000 graves where U.S. military veterans now rest, saluting each fallen soldier along the way.

Tara Bolson and her husband, Chris Bolson, brought their son Aiden to the event to teach him about the importance of honoring veterans like her great uncle, Harry Martin Jr., who served in the Air Force.

This was the Bolson family’s first year attending the event, an annual tradition for local Boy Scouts like Aiden, who has been a Scout for a year now.

“They fought for our freedoms, so what’s a little rain to us?” Tara Bolson said as her family weathered the storm.

Organizer Ralph Moats said he was moved to see the turnout despite the wet weather. As an Army veteran himself — serving from 1972 to 1998 — he said part of the aim of the event was to teach the scouts and other young people the value of citizenship and service to the community.

“This is something we really want to do to give back to the community,” he said. “I’m very pleased with the number of people we have out here.

“This is what Scouting is about. We do a lot of community service, and one of the things we really believe in is citizenship. This is citizenship right here, showing our respect to these men and women who have died and laid down their lives for our country,” he added.