Amy Cunningham

This Memorial Day a volunteer from the American Legion agreed to tend to the American

Ben Bolin, Gareth Seiler, and Scott Coble break ground on a project to illuminate the flag at the Gardner Cemetery. The boys are members of Boy Scout Troop 88 in Gardner. Staff photo by Amy Cunningham

flag located at the Gardner Cemetery; each day at dawn the Legionnaire would dutifully trek out to the cemetery to raise Old Glory and at evening he would lower her right at dusk. Members of the Legion repeat this effort for every major holiday, however that daily ritual may not be necessary any longer when Boy Scout Scott Coble, Gardner, completes his Eagle Scout Project to illuminate the flagpole.
Coble first realized the need for a light on the pole three years ago when he and his fellow troop-mates worked as volunteers placing flags on the graves of former service members.
“I noticed they didn’t have a flag up and I wondered why. I asked an official at the cemetery and she said they only put it up on significant holidays, because the flag has to be lit up 24 hours a day. I thought if I put a light out there it could be lit all the time,” Coble said.
Coble has enlisted the help of Gardner Energy and Burlington Northern Santa Fe to bring his project to fruition. To this point, the group has been coordinating their efforts for more than a year, but the actual work began on Thursday morning.  Initially Coble planned to use an electrical light, however, because of the location of the flagpole in proximity to the railroad tracks BNSF requested employing solar technology to avoid running lines beneath the tracks. Coble said the railroad donated two solar panels, poles, batteries and battery boxes to the project.
“We were going to try to make it electrical. BNSF railway is blocking the electrical lines so we decided it would be best to go solar,” Coble explained. “Jim Langan from BNSF donated quite a lot to the project since we couldn’t get electrical out there,” Coble explained.
He also credited Bill Krawczyck and Brandon McCullom from Gardner Energy, the Gardner Cemetery Board and his parents with helping to move the project forward.
Coble, a sophomore at Gardner Edgerton High School, recently completed his 10th year in scouting and hopes that the project will qualify him to become an Eagle Scout – the designation is the highest rank in Boy Scouting and is only earned by the top 2 percent of Boy Scouts.