PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – Today as hundreds turned out for the South Florida National Cemetery Memorial Day ceremony, a local boy scout stood quietly holding a flag during the event. His name is Joshua Katz and though he’s only 13-years-old, he has earned the respect of lawmakers and veterans nationwide.
In his effort to become an Eagle Scout, Katz created a program to place challenge coins on each of the more than 16,000 graves at the South Florida National Ceremony. Katz created and paid for the coins himself, spending $4,425 to ensure no soldier is ever forgotten. "It's basically a way for people to know that their family or loved one isn't forgotten because we read all the names at the national cemeteries that way no soldier is ever forgotten," Katz modestly explained.
Today Katz was at the South Florida National Cemetery to pass out challenge coins to veterans attending the Memorial Day Ceremony. According to Katz's father David Katz, the program has become so widely known that veterans and soldiers now approach the 13-year-old to thank him for the way he is honoring them.
In addition to creating and placing challenge coins, Katz also spent three months planning an enhancement to the Memorial Wall at the South Florida National Cemetery. Just a few weeks ago Katz spent two days installing a rock garden leading up to the Memorial Wall, planting five pine trees and installing two memorial benches engraved with, "No Soldier Should Be Forgotten."
Today Katz was able to watch veterans enjoy the addition. Katz's father said the 13-year-old has another project planned later this year, but he's keeping it a secret for now.