Memorial Day Good Turn
Scouts of all ages are invited to participate in the Memorial Day Good Turn, hosted by the Gravois Trail District. Check-in runs from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in front of Building 24 on the Missouri National Guard Base adjacent to the ceremony. The procession from the National Guard Base to the cemetery will begin at 12:30 p.m. Upon check-in, the unit leader will receive a unit participation ribbon. A Memorial Day Good Turn patch will be available for $3; segment patch is 50 cents.
Here’s some important information to know before you go:
- Plan for a hike. You will be walking 2-3 miles on the day of the event.
- The person who registers the unit should be your main contact person for the event.
- Please do not bring Unit or American Flags.
- No Parking will be allowed on the Cemetery Grounds or the National Guard Military Base. Plan on Parking in Sylvan Springs County Park on Sheridan Rd.
- Scouts and Scouters need to be in uniform to enter the base. All other adults will need to have a photo ID.
- Check the forecast before you head out. Bring rain gear, if necessary. The event is held rain or shine.
- Make sure you bring plenty of water for you and your Scouts. There is little, to no, shade on the National Guard Base or the Cemetery. It’s also a good idea to bring hats and sunscreen.
- Damaged Flags should not be placed on a site. Instead please return damaged flags to a flag box.
- Remember the Scout Law and the purpose of the day. We are guests of the National Guard and Jefferson Barracks Cemetery.
About Memorial Day Good Turn
For more than six decades, approximately 5,000 Scouts have gathered at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery prior to Memorial Day to decorate each of the 280,000 graves with an American Flag. The tradition, entering its 68th year, is one of the longest running Memorial Day events within the Boy Scouts of America.
The public is welcome to attend the event. Scouts from across the council will assemble at the National Guard base and march into the cemetery where they proceed to the main flagpole near the center of the cemetery for an assembly and ceremony. A surprise guest speaker addresses the crowd.
Scouts honor those who served our country by raising the American Flag and then lowering it to half-mast as Scout buglers play “Taps.” Scouts who earned the rank of Eagle Scout- the highest rank in Scouting- during the past year serve as the color guard. Scouts and leaders then decorate each grave in the cemetery with a small American Flag.
It takes just two hours for Scouts to place more than 280,000 flags, which are provided by the cemetery.
In 1866, Jefferson Barracks was established as a national cemetery and today is one of the oldest interment sites of the National Cemetery Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs.