Hello everyone! Happy Memorial Day! The Pres and I spent Saturday with the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Cub Scouts placing flags on the graves of veterans at historic Berlin Cemetery on the White Horse Pike in Berlin, NJ.
Thank you to our men and women, past and present who have served in the various branches of the armed forces!
I love visiting this cemetery ever year for this because it has a lot of interesting gravesites, including Hessian soldiers, veterans of pretty much every war the US ever fought in, and even some Lenape Indians.
For us Boy Scouts, this cemetery holds the gravesite of the very first Eagle Scout in the history of the Boy Scouts of America – Arthur Eldred of Troop 1 – Oceanside, NY (Long Island).
He achieved this in 1912 by earning his 21 badges in addition to his 1st Class Rank. Arthur had a storied, if shortlived (he was only a Scout for three years or so before he turned 18) career, including being part of the honor guard for Lord Robert Baden-Powell when he arrived in the United States to check on the brand new BSA (reportedly Baden-Powell stopped and spoke to him for a while after seeing how many badges he had already earned) and earning a medal for saving another scout from drowning on a camping trip.
He later moved to South Jersey for work, and was involved in his son’s troop in nearby Clementon in the old Camden County Council (my old council – R.I.P), which is how he came to be interred in South Jersey. Regardless of how he came to get here, we’re proud to have him in South Jersey, and especially proud to have him buried in the same town that the Troop I run (and grew up in) resides.
We stopped to pay our respects to Mr. Eldred and clear some grass that had grown up around his plaque since last year.
You can learn a lot more about the first Eagle Scout by reading this lovely article.