SAN BRUNO, Cali. - An annual Memorial Day tradition returned to Golden Gate National Cemetery Saturday morning. Hundreds of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and others planted flags in front of cemetery graves honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The morning started with a wave of fog and mist. It's exactly how Eagle Scout Holden Cowitt remembers it.
"Perfect San Bruno weather," he said.
He's participated in the flag-planting for as long as he can remember. He wasn't able to do it the last two years because of COVID-19 protocols against mass gatherings.
"It's just a great way to honor the history we have," he said.
The history lies six feet under each of these graves. Thousands of stories of people who gave their lives fighting for the United States. Scouts, making up the Pacific Skyline Council, planted flags in their honor.
"Each one of these scouts takes a reference," said Charles Morgan, representing PSC. "I am honoring you, I am honoring what you've done, and I am honoring your dedication to America."
Faustina Tangitau is a local Girl Scout doing her part in planting flags.
"I think like 50 or 60," she said. "I didn't keep track."
Though the tradition has returned without any COVID protocols to consider, organizers still made some adjustments to make sure everyone stayed safe.
"We normally have a gathering around the corner," said Morgan. "We have a speech and a lot of production, we're not having it this year to eliminate that mass gathering."
"It kind of feels like all the sentiment from the past 3 years has come together for this one, so it has a lot of impact to me," said Cowitt.
The flags will stay in place through Memorial Day. Another scout troop will pick them up next weekend.