Altar Server Michael Cherasaro, of Boy Scout Troop 339, was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout on Sunday, February 19, 2017 during an official ceremony (Court of Honor) held at St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church, Pittston. Michael successfully met all the requirements for this honor. As part of those requirements, which include application of leadership and organizational skills in many forms, Michael completed a special community project in August 2016: A Memorial Garden at St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Cemetery, Duryea, Pa.. The cemetery is located on Phoenix Street at the base of a residential development. St. Michael’s Cemetery/Duryea was formerly known as St. Peter & Paul Cemetery. See more about the cemetery here.
The Memorial Garden is a beautiful addition to this sacred space, making use of the natural setting in giving honor to all who served throughout all military branches. The Memorial Garden, also as a prayer alcove, provides a place for those visiting the cemetery to reflect on the sacrifices of their loved ones, of veterans and those who died in service to our country to protect our freedom. The many American flags visible on the individual grave sites of those buried at this cemetery are testimony to the call to serve. There are many veterans and fallen heroes among the earliest members of St. Michael’s Church, and many more over time. Honor goes to veterans buried both in Duryea and in the church cemetery in Pittston.
It is an achievement to reach the rank of Boy Scout Eagle Scout. We congratulate Michael on this achievement and thank him for his contribution to honoring veterans with this special Memorial Garden.
Michael lead construction of a veteran and memorial prayer garden at the cemetery which is located on Phoenix Street, Duryea (at the entrance to Blueberry Estates).
He purchased two cement benches that are engraved with POW MIA; 5 circular cement discs, each engraved with a branch of our military, honoring all of those who have fought bravely for our country; a painted cement statue of a cross and a folded American flag; an aluminum plaque inscribed with a prayer for all of the souls in purgatory; and an icon replica with outdoor housing, featuring an image of St. Michael protecting our church.
Eagle Scout Projects are designed to have the scout display leadership skills in managing a project. The scout raises the money, gathers the materials and people to help, and leads the project itself. This project provides the cemetery a nice area for people to sit and pray. Additional features may be added to enhance the beauty of the natural setting in the future.
Michael collected the donations and is very appreciative to all who contributed and made this possible. If anyone wishes to make an additional contribution, contact our parish office.
Photos below are selections from the Memorial Day Service held each year at St. Michael’s Cemetery in remembrance of soldiers who died in the line of duty. The Service is conducted by members of Duryea American Legion Post 585 and VFW Post 1227. The honor guard travels to each of the following cemeteries on Memorial Day: Polish National, St. Joseph’s, St. John’s, St. Michael’s Cemetery – Phoenix Street, Duryea ( * formerly known as St. Peter & Paul Cemetery *), Mossier and Marcy Cemeteries, and ends at the VFW post for a final service.
Everyone is encouraged to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom by making a very small sacrifice of time to attend this annual program. The Memorial Garden honoring all in service to our country affirms the important role of our veterans.