Boy Scout Troop 341, sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford, has organized and partaken in several memorials and ceremonies in honor of those who have served in our armed forces. These ceremonies allow us all to recognize those who have laid down their lives, both figuratively and literally, in order to protect both the citizens of the U.S., and the people who live in dangerous parts of the world.
On May 14, Scout Chip Moynihan invited our troop to be present at the Honor Flight ceremony at the Rochester Airport, to welcome home his grandfather, Dale Hanson, USMC, and numerous other veterans. Veterans, who have not yet had the privilege to visit the war memorials in our nation’s capital, are escorted by Honor Flight volunteers. This reception and ceremony, which occurs a couple of times a year, gives people an opportunity to honor those who fought in significant wars during the course of our country’s history. For more information on Honor Flight, please see honorflightrochester.org.
Also in May, the Troop was honored to meet local World War II veteran, Army Cpl. Richard Brookins, 28th Infantry Division, who is quite famously known as The American St. Nick. Mr. Brookins was stationed in Wiltz, Luxembourg, during the waning months of the war when Wiltz was liberated. The town, having been occupied by the Germans for four years, had not been able to recognize Christmas. In early December 1944, the regiment organized, with the assistance of the local school and church, a Christmas celebration for the children. Richard was recruited to play the role of St. Nicholas; the children sang songs and soldiers handed out treats. The residents hadn’t forgotten what he had done and finally reconnected with the Richard Brookins in 1977 to invite him back to Wiltz. Wiltz, to this day, annually celebrates their liberation with a parade and special tribute to The American St. Nick. For an interesting YouTube video of actual footage of this remarkable event, Google “The American St. Nick.”
The Troop once again participated in the Pittsford Memorial Day parade, a day dedicated to those who have died serving our country. Though it may have been raining during the parade, all of the scouts did a grand service to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
On Veterans Day, all Boy Scout Troops show their gratitude and reverence to all of the men and women in our armed forces who are currently serving, and to those who have laid down their lives for it. Please join us for this year’s ceremony, hosted by the Pittsford American Legion Rayson-Miller Post 899, 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 at the Veterans Memorial, Carpenter Park, Port of Pittsford.