The following article was submitted by Troop 544.
A total of 24 boys from New Hyde Park's Troop 544 were privileged recently to present a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
Under the leadership of Senior Patrol Leader Marc Yuricic, the Scouts presented the wreath in uniform, with 100 visitors present, including parents, relatives and siblings of the scouts.
The scouts represented Troop 544 well as they maintained strict silence and showed good teamwork and discipline. Four scouts were chosen to present the wreath.
The wreath laying ceremony took place after a changing of the guard. The Scouts saw firsthand the discipline required of the soldiers as they performed their duties. Before taking part in the ceremony the four scouts; Marc Yuricic, Giovanni Castelli, Nicholas Seiban, and David Capodanno met with a soldier from the "Old Guard" to go over the ceremony. His professionalism was tempered with kindness as he went over the ceremony and made sure the Scouts were comfortable with what they needed to do.
Just before the ceremony started the scouts waited to be led down to the wreath and were instructed again by the Relief Commander. He shook each scouts hand and gave instructions that matched almost word for word the instructions they were given previously. The only noted change was just before they started down the stairs when he leaned in and quietly said "Don't trip."
For many the wreath laying was the highlight of a three day trip to our Nation's Capital. The tour included a stop at Camden Yards in Baltimore on the way down and a visit to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.
The second day included the Spy Museum where the Scouts learned about real espionage cases and a little James Bond fun. Then it was on to Arlington National Cemetery for the wreath laying and a visit to the grave of President Kennedy.
The next stop was back in DC for a guided walking tour past the White House and then on to the memorials on the mall.
The final day was a visit to the National Air and Space Museum and then to the US Capitol building for a tour. When not touring the area, the scouts, leaders, and family members camped at Greenbelt National Park.