Although most of the Scouts of Unit 305 in Kearny were born after 2001, they remember the sacrifice of the first responders and victims of 9/11. To pay tribute and to honor their service, Scouts and their families participated in an urban hike to tour the 9/11 Memorial and Museum on March 25, 2017.
The Scouts met in the morning on the lawn of St. Stephen's Church in Kearny. They congregated in front of a metal cross which was crafted from the remaining steel supports of one of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center. The Very Reverend Joseph A. Mancini, pastor and sponsor of Unit 305, prayed with the Scouts in front of the church's memorial to the seven parishioners who perished on 9/11.
Boy Scouts walked the three miles from the church on Kearny Avenue and along the Frank E. Rodgers Boulevard to the PATH station in Harrison where they rendezvoused to meet the younger Cub Scouts and families. The Unit travelled by train into Manhattan to visit St. Paul's Chapel where firefighters on 9/11 often would seek refuge in-between sessions at Ground Zero. St. Stephen's Church in Kearny was gifted one of the benches that was marked by usage, dented and scratched by helmets and equipment of the first responders.
The Scouts also visited with FDNY firefighters of Ten House, Engine Company 10 and Ladder Company 10, whose station is across from the World Trade Center site and 9/11 Memorial. The Scouts toured the station, climbed aboard a fire engine, tried on equipment, and learned about the training and responsibilities of the first responders on 9/11 and every day in a thriving metropolis and tourist center.
After lunch and quiet reflection on the grounds of the 9/11 Memorial where twin permanent fountains pay tribute to the 2,983 victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack and World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993, the Scouts toured the 9/11 Museum. They perused the artifacts that remained after the rubble was cleared, including the multi-story displays of twisted metal. Signs of healing and optimism were evident in the National Tribute Quilt and the Survivor Tree. The Scouts added their own tribute at the end of the museum in the interactive media board: "As Scouts, we are told to be men for others. In memory of those who died. Unit 305."
Unit 305's 9/11 Memorial and Museum Hike was the brainchild of Scoutmaster John Reverendo who designed and planned the more than 7-mile urban hike. This excursion is just one of many unique outings planned by the current leadership of Unit 305 as part of advanced adult training offered through a program entitled, "Wood Badge."
Cub Scout Michael English reflects at the
9/11 Memorial overlooking the fountain on
the footprint of one of the Twin Towers