By Roger Mari
HONOLULU (KHNL) -- It's a touching tradition that dates back to the 1950's. For Memorial Day, boy scouts place lei on the graves of American soldiers at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
More than 2000 boy scouts turned out, continuing the tradition of honoring our fallen warriors. Though very young, some of these boy scouts are well aware of the ultimate sacrifices these soldiers made defending our country.
"If nobody fought for our nation, we wouldn't be free or a lot of other countries would still be underdeveloped," said Boy Scout Christian Tenguan-Horcajo.
"The boy scouts actually perpetuate history tradition and patriotism," said Gene Castignetti of The National Memorial Cemetery.
About 35-thousand lei were donated by the public, non-profit organizations, and schools around the state. It's a unique way to pay tribute to those lost in battle.
"Honoring those that fought for us with leis and with American flags, I think that's really good," said Boy Scout Keeyan Nakatsu.
Boy scouts and servicemen have much in common, following a code of honor and loyalty.
"They'll be reminded that they are the beneficiaries of the sacrifice in service of our American Servicemen who have died in all wars to give them the rights and the benefits they enjoy today," said Gene Castagnetti.
Those who were visiting loved ones were taken aback at the site of 2000 boy scouts placing flags and lei on the graves of total strangers.
Even if they don't know who they are, you know they're here because of them, and we just want to memorialize them. The scouts are beautiful; it's something you only see in Hawaii