BEND, Ore. -

Bend-area Boy Scouts kicked off Memorial Day weekend honoring fallen veterans at Deschutes Memorial Gardens, with a very special guest on hand.

Saturday morning, dozens of Scouts, their parents and veterans gathered to remember local service members who've died, and to place American flags on their graves.

Members of the Bend unit of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps also took part in the event and placed flags on graves.

Bend's own Bob Maxwell -- a World War II veteran and the only living Oregon recipient of the Medal of Honor -- was on hand to speak to the group and shake the hands of the young boys, who thanked him for his service.

"I can grow up here, believe what I believe in, have an education -- and those people gave up everything, all of that, for me and everyone else that is here," said 15-year-old Scout Joshua Erskine.

This is about the sixth year the troops have done the flag duty, placing hundreds of flags on graves and saluting each of the gravestones.

"It's not only a great thing to do, but it's our responsibility to do this, to remember those who've gone on before us," Maxwell said.

Maxwell said he was honored to attend the event and proud of the Boy Scouts.