By Sidhartha Wadake
Rows of white crosses, bearing the names of fallen veterans, lined the grass in front of the old depot in downtown Rutledge on Saturday, May 18.
The crosses were put up by Boy Scout Troop 748 to help the Rutledge Women’s Club as a way for the community to remember veterans who lost their lives.
This was the second year that the crosses were put up according to Eric Marchant, the scoutmaster. The project began as a way for Marchant’s son, Matt Marchant, to get his Eagle Badge.
“We started last May,” Eric Marchant said. “The boy that did the Eagle Scout project, his intention was this be a continuing service project.”
Matt Marchant, who has since become an Eagle Scout, decided to continue putting up crosses not only to help the Rutledge Women’s Club, but also to honor his personal connection to the military.
“I personally want to go into the military myself, and I really have a strong connection with the idea of not being forgotten,” Matt Marchant said. “Being able to put these out here to honor these guys, I have a really deep connection to it.”
Many of the members from the troop, as well as former members, came out to help put up the crosses as well. Garrison King, a Life scout in the troop, wanted to help out his friends.
“Most of the guys out here are family to me,” King said. “I’ve known them forever….”
The crosses get put out every Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day, and it took over 200 hours to make all of them, according to Matt Marchant. Eighty five crosses were placed on Saturday.
While the troop plans to add more crosses, John King, the assistant scoutmaster for the troop, said that additional crosses are “good and bad.”
“You never want to add more,” John King said. “But you do.”