WEST HILLS, Calif. – Traditions are the thread that connects generations, so even if there’s no one to inspect his uniform, Jonathan Jones goes through the motions to put it all in place.
“Boy Scouts isn’t just ‘be prepared,’ campouts and merit badges. There’s also cleanliness of mind, cleanliness of body,” Jones said as he laid out his uniform on Memorial Day.
It’s a sign of respect to don a uniform, so Boy Scouts across the country suited up Monday. It would be a Memorial Day unlike any they’ve seen as a country ‘safe at home’ honors those who left to defend our freedom and never came back.
His silver badges are a mark of an Eagle Scout, an honor that’s a remarkable achievement. Jones organized his robotics team to clean out the lab at Reseda Charter School to earn the distinction. That was back when he could still go to school and when he had the honor of performing taps for veterans on holidays like today.
“The first time I did taps for a big audience it was ‘I hope I get this right,’” he said.
It’s his own tradition to warm up at home and eke out a few notes before heading to the big show.
This year, he doesn’t have to go far but he does have an appointment to keep.
At exactly 3 p.m., Boy Scouts all across America unfurled flags in their own front lawns to stand alone in solidarity.
A solemn ceremony on a hot day played to an empty street.
“You don’t need to be thanking someone. You need to be thanking everyone,” Jones said.
Memorial Day has never been about me or you. It’s about those who are no longer with us, who went abroad and fought, so that we could be safe at home.