Sepia Saturday - A Cub Scout Remembers
Before a boy becomes a boy scout he joins the ranks of the "cub scout," a junior version of the Boy Scouts of America. Our cub scout group was "pack" 37. Pack 37 was sponsored by the local Methodist church and the pastor, Reverend Dougherty, was our "pack master."
Reverend Dougherty was a World War II veteran. Every May he would gather all the "dens," together. (A den was a smaller group of cubs that met weekly with a den mother.) The pastor would speak to us about the importance of the upcoming Memorial Day and instilling in us a feeling of pride of and responsibility to our country. He also would give us lessons in marching which must have been hilarious to watch.
On the Sunday of which our town's Memorial Day celebration always fell, Reverend Dougherty would preach in his Army uniform, decorated in medals, instead of his traditional black robe. All the cubs would process in and sit together with the congregation. After church we would all walk over to the local school yard to prepare for the parade.
The Town of Salisbury's parade included civic groups, bands, firetrucks, and politicians. It was sponsored and organized by the local American Legion. The march would take us on a winding route through the simple streets of what was then a very rural town. It was fun to see our parents and friends as we marched as well as being the cause of a major beach traffic jam.
As a cub scout this walk seemed like a 10 mile grueling hike. In actuality it was no more than one mile. From the school yard it would wind though the simple streets of town to the common where the war memorials were located. Of course politicians, clergy, and war veterans were invited to speak. The Gettysburg Address was recited. Wreaths were laid at the monuments and taps was played. A few years later as a boy scout, I had the privilege of playing taps at this ceremony.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day everyone.
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