WILSONVILLE, Ore. (KOIN 6) — More than 150 of the people laid to rest at Wilsonville’s Pleasant View Cemetery are veterans. But the flag pole that flies over their graves is rusted and in need of repair.
Enter Dawson During, a 14-year-old Boy Scout aiming to become an Eagle Scout.
“This is where I really thought I could do something,” said Durig. “I felt like we should do something to honor them because they put their lives on the line for our liberty.”
The teen and his Boy Scout troop will sand away the rust and repaint the pole that was first planted at the cemetery 45 years ago. The cemetery itself dates to the 1800s.
Durig said his inspiration is his grandfather.
During World War II, Bill Durig flew 32 missions on a B-17 over Germany, and while Durig never met his grandpa, his service left a lasting impression.
“Five years ago I learned what he had done and that’s when it struck me, wow, these guys really are heroes,” the teen said.
Durig plans to install a granite slab at the pole’s base and engrave it with the names of the Veterans buried at the cemetery. Then, he’ll adorn each of their grave sites with a bronze medallion.
“It has to be more of a community effort to take care of these,” City Councilor Charlotte Lehan said. “We’ve had a lot of Eagle Scout projects at the cemetery to restore some of our stones and other work. But this is definitely the most ambitious one.”
It’s a $6,500 project and if you’d like to help, you can make tax-deductible donations to Boy Scout Troop 194 to 29030 SW Town Center Loop E., Suite 202-194 in Wilsonville. Checks should be made to “Dawson Durig Eagle Project” in the memo field.
“I think they should receive some recognition or last medal of honor, in a way,” he said.