Scout honors veterans with bronze markers for community service project

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VERPLANCK -

A 16-year-old from northern Westchester is doing something to help hundreds of veterans in his community this Memorial Day.

Wayne Smith lives near St. Patrick's Cemetery in Verplanck and noticed there was something missing.

"Our American Legion post puts flags in the cemetery for veterans," Smith said. "Because our troop in Ossining, we put them in flag holders for veterans down there. I decided we should have flag holders here too."

The high school junior says he wanted to do this for his community service project  required to become an Eagle Scout.

Smith started raising money last summer to buy bronze markers for the veterans' graves. He says they sold American flags at the Verplanck Post Office and St. Patrick's Church and raised $7,245.

That money went to buy 345 bronze markers from a foundry in New Hampshire.

While other scouts have created trailheads or community gardens, Smith says he wanted to remember those who served their country.

"I thought this would be a little more meaningful for our town and veterans in the cemetery," Smith said.

Smith says he also has a personal connection to the St. Patrick's Cemetery. Many of his family members, some who are veterans are buried there.

Now that Smith's community service project is complete, he says he needs only six more merit badges to fulfill the 21 required to graduate to Eagle Scout.

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