Friends, family, Scouters and Scouts joined forces Wednesday, 7 September, to honor their Boy Scouts. The units from 276 are sponsored by the Mtn. Green Ward and the units from 576 are sponsored by the Highlands Ward; both are part of the Morgan North Stake, Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints.
The combined program was opened by Zack Kane, Crew 576, with the customary posting of the colors, Pledge of Allegiance, welcome and prayer. Zack then turned the program over to Team 576, Coach Rick Barnes and Assistant Scout Master Mont Forsyth, of Troop 576, to present 9 scouts their 6 rank advancements and 32 merit badges. A Wood Badge presentation then followed with Jon and Pam Harris and Jason Lewis awarding Elise Barnes and Andy Barnes their beads and neckerchiefs. Tom Johanson, 1st Counselor in the Mtn. Green Ward Bishopric, then introduced Blake Poll, recipient of the Eagle Rank. Hogle Zoo had their live eagle on stage, and a very informative history of our Nation’s symbol, the Bald Eagle, was given. Former Troop 276 Scoutmaster Brad Richards presented Blake his Eagle Badge and Don Poll, Blake’s former Scout Leader, presented Blake the Eagle Pledge.
Following the awards, Troop 576 Scoutmaster Carl Hipwell then conducted an American flag retirement ceremony. Roger Smith from Salt Lake City, a veteran of the Viet Nam War, spoke of his experiences in VN and the meaning of the POW-MIA flag; he followed his remarks by presenting Carl Hipwell a POW/MIA flag. Due to the proximity of the 10th anniversary of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack on the NY World Trade Center, the American Flag retirement ceremony was dedicated to the remembrance of all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in that terrible attack and to the 6,200 military men and women who have fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan. Six American Flags were burned with each one dedicated to honoring the most recent six casualties in Afghanistan from Utah: Preston J. Sutter, Army, Sandy; Norberto Hernandez, Marine, Logan; Raphael R. Arruda, Army, Ogden; Daniel D. Gurr, Marine, Vernal; Jared Williams Day, Navy Seal, Taylorsville; Jason R. Workman, Navy Seal Blanding.
The benediction was given by Jim Hurst, a veteran Ranger of the Korean War; the Colors were then retired. It was a very solemn and spiritual conclusion for a well attended ceremony; a ceremony that was also a richly deserved awards court of honor for our Boy Scouts.