Boy and Girl Scouts spruce up monument to honor veterans

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MADISON SQUARE PARK, Manhattan — With scrub brushes in hand, dozens of Boy and Girl Scouts from around the city were busy Saturday morning, cleaning the granite surface of a special memorial, honoring heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country.

The Guzy brothers were proud to devote part of their Saturday to sprucing up the Eternal Light Flagstaff in Madison Square Park in Manhattan.  The monument, which memorializes World War I, was dedicated on Armistice Day, Nov. 11 1923.

“It felt good because I was doing something to help our veterans and showing that I appreciate them,” said 11-year-old Boy Scout Cooper Guzy.

“I want to be an army ranger when I get older,“ said Blake Guzy.  The 15-year-old Boy Scout said his grandfather, who served as a paratrooper in World War II, had a difficult time talking about his war experience.

“I tried talking about it with him, and that’s when I saw the pain in his eyes.  He didn’t really want to talk about it.”

Jeff Swansen, a U.S. Navy veteran, and logistics director for the United War Veterans Council, which organized the event, said the good deed would earn the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts badges, and they would also be getting a lesson in history.

“A lot of them don’t know about World War I, World War II anymore,  and even the Vietnam War, a lot of them don’t know.  So we’re trying to teach them,” Swansen said.

The monument will be the centerpiece of a wreath laying ceremony, featuring a 21-gun salute.  It marks the start of “America’s Parade” on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, which is being carried by PIX11.

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