OGDEN -- Karter Isaacson took a knee and plunged the spike into the soil, an American flag tucked under his arm.
"Looks about right," he said, getting up to plant the flag along the straight line of string between his spike and his friend's. After getting out of school on Friday and seeing "The Avengers" superhero movie with his friends, they'd come to the Evergreen Memorial Park to honor real heroes by planting American flags in memory of those who served.
With Isaacson were Harrison Jardine and Colten Rackham, all 16 and all fellow Boy Scouts in Troop 164. They weren't getting any badge or reward for planting almost 1,000 American flags down the cemetery's center aisle of islands, between the entrance and exit, but they were happy to serve.
"They're getting character," said Matt Rowley, a former troop leader who came to help. His coworker, Steve Cottle, also came with his wife and their four children to lend a hand with the annual task.
Jardine and Rackham both have grandfathers who are veterans, though they couldn't immediately recall their service records. Jardine's grandfather is retired, but Rackham's grandfather died before the teen could get to know him.
"It's a sad day," Rackham said of the upcoming Memorial Day, the occasion for all the flags.
Placing the flags down the center of the cemetery, called the Field of Flags, has been going on for five years, said cemetery manager Brandon Patterson.
Marking veterans' graves with flags, which the cemetery employees were taking care of at the same time, is a tradition at least a decade older than that.
Rowley recalled coming out to the cemetery with his young children years ago to keep that tradition. He would tell his children to make sure to read each marker, the years when these men and women lived and died and in what wars they served, a reminder of the brave Americans who came before them.
It's easy for children to lose that connection to the past, and it's Memorial Day and outings like the Boy Scouts' on Friday that keep that contact and sense of history, he said.
He has a photo of his children among the markers and flags, and Patterson noted how people still take photos in the sea of red, white and blue.