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Six years ago, 12-year-old Boy Scout Thaddeus L., and his father died when their private airplane crashed shortly after ascending from the Woodbine Municipal Airport. Today, Thaddeus’ legacy lives on through the memories of his loved ones and two friends from Troop 76.

Eagle Scouts, Robert C. and Forest W. of the Garden State Council sought to honor Thaddeus by dedicating their Eagle Scout service projects to his memory. The two Scouts planned and oversaw funding of projects they knew their friend would appreciate.

Because Thaddeus was passionate about aviation and the local aviation museum, Robert rebuilt a concrete World War II structure and its surrounding landscaping at the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum.

Forest constructed a volleyball court, entrance arbor and gazebo at Trinity United Methodist Church. The Scout placed a plaque on the completed gazebo honoring Thaddeus during a dedication ceremony.

“Today, six years ago, I lost a dear friend of mine in an accident,” Forest said at the dedication, according to Cape May County Herald. “He was a Boy Scout and loved the outdoors more than even I do. At that time, I had not yet joined Scouts, but he had told me stories of amazing camping trips and adventures.”

Boy’s Memory Lives on in Scouting

Forest says Thaddeus’ enthusiasm for Scouting spurred his own passion for the activity and says it’s the most meaningful extracurricular in his life.

Thaddeus always aspired to earning the Eagle Scout rank, so Forest was moved to reach that goal for the both of them.

“The day he passed I resolved myself to live part of my life for him. I joined Scouts and now that I have reached the top of that mountain, I want to share my project with him. I know Thaddeus wanted to be an Eagle Scout and the fact has driven me to achieve that goal since that day,” Forest continued.

Thaddeus’s mother praised the boys’ projects, attesting to the significance of their heartfelt efforts and their desire to serve the community.

“I am very proud to know both of these young men. Thaddeus always tried to do his best and seeing his life positively influence others is an honor,” she said.