ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The Council Jewish Committee on Scouts honored veterans Sunday by placing thousands of flags at different cemeteries across St. Louis City and County.

Approximately 400 Boy Scouts placed 8,500 American flags across eight different locations.

FOX 2 spoke with members of Troop 344 at Beth Hamedrosh Hagodol Cemetery about why this mission is important to the Boy Scouts.

“They spent their life serving our country. It’s the least we can do to honor them after death,” Cooper Keys said.

They pick up flags that were placed at veterans’ grave sites the previous year and replace them with new ones.

“Veterans served this country and it’s very important that we respect their sacrifices, their time, and some of them their lives, to protect our freedoms,” said Brandon Barrett.

They then salute the veteran, say their name, and thank them for their service in the armed forces. 

“It’s just so we can honor them and make sure that they’re recognized for their work,” said Samarth Donakanti.

“It’s about respecting veterans and replacing the flags,” Barrett said. “They get sort of torn up and start to degrade after a year, so we always try to replace them and keep them looking nice.”

And the older scouts say: it’s important to teach the younger scouts to honor veterans.

“If we don’t do this, then they won’t know what to do once we’re gone,” Keys said. “If we don’t show them how to do it, then this is just…tradition’s going to die out and they won’t get honored.”