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Teen uses Eagle Scout project to identify dozens of unmarked graves at Richfield cemetery

Scout is on mission to identify unmarked graves
Scout is on mission to identify unmarked graves 02:04

RICHFIELD, Minn. -- A Richfield teenager is on an important but unusual mission. Therese Phan is a member of what used to be the Boy Scouts, and she's tackling a unique service project.

In the heart of Richfield, you'll find Assumption Cemetery. It sits behind Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

"It is an old cemetery as you know, and the records that we have are not always tiptop," said Deacon Peter Loving.

Assumption Cemetery in Richfield is full of stories. Some are clear, while others are a mystery, because of 44 unmarked graves.

"These people lived and breathed and walked the earth, and now we want to, just like all the others you see here, to recognize them," Loving said.

And that's where 17-year-old Therese Phan stepped in. The church had been gathering patchy records, and ordering small markers. So Phan decided to help out.

"There was no remembrance of like how they lived on this earth," Phan said.

And she was on a mission to become an Eagle Scout, just like her two older brothers.

Therese Phan CBS

"I still remember how like they would go to camp and go to all these meetings and have so much fun, meet so many friends and people, and I wanted to have that for myself," Phan said.

Phan is three years into scouting and is hoping to become an eagle. So she gathered a group, and one by one they put markers, and whatever information they could gather, on every unmarked grave.

Deacon Loving says they are quite proud of Phan.

"They too are part of God's family, and so we mark them, thanks to our Eagle Scout here," Loving said.

Phan is about to start her senior year at Academy of Holy Angels. She hopes to find out in the fall if she will be named an Eagle Scout.

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