Lilly Stevens, a Seymour High School freshman, athlete and musician, has earned the prestigious title of Eagle Scout through Troop 91 G in Seymour.
Eagle Scout is the highest award given in the Boy Scouts of America program. Only after receiving 122 badges can a scout be given this award, with the final project for the badge being a “service of the scout’s church, school or community.” Less than one percent of all scouts in the history of the program receive their Eagle Scout badge.
Stevens decided to serve her community by installing a memorial site at the flagpole at the Village of Diggins Community Park’s Veterans Memorial.
“I’d like to thank everyone who helped me build this project,” Stevens said during an address to the crowd. “This would have been impossible without all the hands who helped me build it.”
The original flagpole was set on May 30, 1987 and the memorial has expanded the number of flags to represent all branches of the military, along with the P.O.W. flag and Missouri State flag. Marble inscribed with dedications were added to honor those who gave all for the freedom of this country.
"This memorial is dedicated to all branches of service-veterans, reservist, and their families for their sacrifices, dedication and honorable service," it reads. "From the Village of Diggins Trustees and Park Board, Ms Lilly Stevens, Eagle Scout Project 2022."
The memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day at 11 a.m. A patriotic service
followed by songs, readings, and other tributes to veterans preceded a speech by retired Master Sergeant Scott Rowe of the Air Force on the history and significance of Memorial Day was delivered to all in attendance.
“Every Memorial Day, all across America, wreaths and flags are placed on the graves in memoriam of our fallen brothers and sisters, to remind us and future generations that all gave some, and some gave all,” Rowe said. “They will never be forgotten.”
It was a historic day for the Village, attended by over 150 visitors and celebrated by many more. Chairman John Curtis welcomed the crowd before a prayer from Carl Ray, retired Navy veteran. A gun salute with the raising of the flags was performed by the American Legion Post #306, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance by retired Airman 1st Class Tom Dennis. A patriotic song was performed on fiddle by Colton Harris and a salute of veterans present as well as the names of fallen veterans were
acknowledged with the playing of TAPS–Richard Bell, Angela Stanley and Scout Troop #91. Sarah Raposa sang “God Bless America” before certificates and acknowledgments were made by Chairman Curtis and trustees. There were refreshments that followed the event.
“If you have not been able to view the Memorial, Walton Pavilion, Founders
Walkway or the Memorial markers scattered throughout, you simply must come see it,” said David L. Bowers. “We are so very proud of the community involvement and work that has gone into it.”
According to Bowers, 14 victorian lights throughout Community park and Founders Walkway are expected to be installed soon.