By Paul Steven GhiringhelliFebruary 18, 2010
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, young Cub Scouts from Fort Drum's Pack 26 marched out of Hays Hall last week alongside Soldiers of 2nd Brigade Combat Team's flag detail to help fire the cannon and lower the flag during the retreat.
"The Scouts are a very patriotic organization in which we do an awful lot of flag ceremonies," said Tom Johnston, Pack 26 cub master. "We teach about national pride and about a love for God and country.
"We (appreciate) any opportunity we get to honor the colors - especially this year, being the 100th anniversary," he said. "We thought it would be a nice thing for the boys to see how the Soldiers honor the colors."
Scouts nationwide marked the Boy Scouts of America centennial with group visits to museums, historical sites and local legislative offices.
Leaders from Fort Drum's Pack 26, however, thought it would be unique to incorporate an Army tradition into their observance. The special ceremony, which began at 4:55 p.m. Feb. 8, was organized by Maj. Ron Myers, executive officer of Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (LI).
Myers, who works inside Hays Hall, has two sons, 7-year-old Andrew and 5-year-old Ethan, in Pack 26. His wife, who is one of the pack's 12 den leaders, saw both the upcoming anniversary and her Family's regard for the Army as two things worth connecting.
"It's the 100th anniversary," Stacy Myers said. "Being on a military post, we figured we had an opportunity to do something different."
As is customary, five minutes before the ceremony began, a bugle call sounded to signify the retreat would begin at 5 p.m. The playing of "To the Colors," followed by one cannon shot, preceded the lowering of the flag to the music of "Retreat."
Also attending the retreat was Maj. Gen. James L. Terry, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum commander.
"I think that the commanding general coming out to watch all the boys help lower the flag and help celebrate the 100th anniversary is a very big deal," Johnston said. "I didn't expect to see him here today. I was very honored that he would take time out of his schedule to come join us."
Of the 35 children belonging to Fort Drum's Pack 26, Johnston said each has a parent who is a Soldier or retired Soldier.
He said since the ceiling collapsed in the pack's previous headquarters, they are currently meeting at the Spiritual Life Center at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays.