Members from Immanuel Lutheran Church’s Trail Life USA Troop IN-2206 and American Heritage Girls Troop-1273 placed flags in front of graves to honor veterans for Memorial Day.
On Thursday at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery on the west side of Seymour, 225 flags were placed by troop members with help from their parents and leaders.
Flags were provided by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1925 and American Legion Post 89, both in Seymour.
In groups, troop members placed a flag in front of the grave of a veteran, said their name and saluted them.
They learned about what wars the veterans served in and where they traveled. Many troop members learned about wars they had never heard of, like the Korean War and Vietnam War.
Civil War veterans were among the oldest graves honored at the cemetery.
The Rev. Philip Bloch with Immanuel Lutheran Church led the troops in memorializing the graves and said he hopes it becomes an annual activity.
"We want to never forget and always remember that freedom isn’t free and that we need soldiers and those that defend and protect us and also their families, too," he said.
His father served in World War II, and Bloch said it’s important to never forget the great sacrifices veterans made before being laid to rest.
"This is a time for reverence and respect and remembrance," he said.
Bud Nieman works at the cemetery and helped make a list of what veterans were buried at the cemetery. Bloch said if he knows Nieman well, he would check the flags after the troops have left and make sure the flags are deep enough in the ground so they don’t fall over.
Founded in 2013, Trail Life USA is a "premier national character development organization for young men which produces generations of godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens," according to traillifeusa.com.
Both troops were started last year and meet weekly at Immanuel Lutheran Church.
American Heritage Girls started in 1995, and members participate in badge programs, service projects, leadership opportunities and outdoor experiences, all with an emphasis on Christian values and family involvement, according to americanheritagegirls.com.
Elizabeth Scheiderer helped honor graves with her mother, Heidi, and said she felt good when honoring the graves and saluting the veterans.
Angelina Schile helped place flags with her daughter, Adalynn, and said she wishes kids could do more activities that teach them about those who have served.
"They learn how to respect their country and see the people who died for our freedom," Schile said.