We’re home from a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with J’s sister in NJ, and hope that – if you celebrated – you had a nice time with family and friends, as well.
The drive home was long. Very long. What should have been a four hour trip was about six hours with the holiday traffic.
At about the three-and-a-half hour mark, we started seeing signs on the side of I-84; kind of like those old Burma Shave ads, where the story continues from one sign to the next. Note: I am too young to remember these Burma Shave ads … I read about them in a book!
We’d seen these in the past, but haven’t stopped. This time, our sign spotting coincided with driving fatigue and a little voice from the back seat saying “How much longer? I have to go ….”
We stopped and used the facilities (or as my mother would euphemistically say “stopped to wash our hands”), then crossed the parking lot to where the Tolland Boy Scout pack #15 had set up a large tent/canopy and were offering free coffee, hot chocolate, water, bagels, and popcorn. I imagine some of the food was donated by local suppliers, but the boys (and their families) donated their time, and were offering a service that was much appreciated.
At the front of the tent were two large bins full of American flag cemetery markers. It was dark when we stopped, so the sign may not be clear, it says:
The American flags here are given freely to the public by Troop 15. Every flag here flew over a veteran’s grave in the Hartford area, and was collected by hand by one of the scouts in Troop 15 when the flag either became worn, or the time came that a new flag was needed at the grave. This is an ongoing service project, and we collect hundreds of flags per year; do not feel guilty if you are taking the last flag, or if you desire more than one.
Please feel free to take one in keeping with the Boy Scouts of America’s Aims of Scouting, and the memory of those who fought.
“Where liberty dwells, there is my country.” Benjamin Franklin
The Historical Review of Pennsylvania 1959
My 9-year old, a Girl Scout, asked me to take a few photos to share the story with her troop (along with a flag). The kids enjoyed some freshly popped corn, J re-caffeinated, and I got all choked up reading the sign and explaining it to our 7-year old. Well played, Boy Scouts!