NORTH OGDEN The symbolism of Saturdays somber ceremony certainly wasnt lost on anyone here.
At a time when some in this country have called for the removal of certain monuments or have taken matters into their own hands by defacing or destroying them a group of grieving-yet-grateful Americans gathered to celebrate the creation of a brand new monument.
On Saturday morning, the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument was unveiled and dedicated in a ceremony at the North Ogden City Hall Plaza, 505 E. 2600 North. Community members, local dignitaries, and families whove lost loved ones in military service watched as the monument, shrouded in black, was officially unveiled to the public.
The monument is dedicated to Gold Star Families, those whose own flesh and blood paid the ultimate price in defense of their country.
The monument contains four black, polished slabs of stone of varying sizes. On the north-facing side, the monument feature a large gold star and the words Gold Star Families Memorial Monument: A tribute to Gold Star Families and Relatives who sacrificed a Loved One for our Freedom.
On the south side, each of the four panels is dedicated to a different concept: Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice. The monument includes various images of flags, along with a Ronald Reagan quote. The two largest sections of the monument have been cut out so that the missing space creates the outline of a saluting service member.
Organizers of both the monument and the ceremony point out that no public funds were used in creating the roughly $120,000 monument. It was all paid for by private donations.
The only thing the city did was allow the monument to sit on city property, said North Ogden Mayor Neal Berube.
Berube, who conducted Saturdays ceremony, called his city one of the most patriotic communities in the state. And he says it became even more so after the town lost its mayor in Afghanistan.
After the ceremony, Berube praised the way in which people came together to make the monument a reality.
Like I said, when a community rallies together, nothing is impossible, he said. The impossible just takes a little longer.
After the monument was unveiled, one-by-one the Gold Star Families of Utahns who died in the service of their country stepped up to the microphone, identified their family member, and then laid yellow roses at the base of the monument.
James Laselute, of Layton, was there representing his stepson, Lance Cpl. Quinn Keith, who was killed by a car bomb in September 2004 in Iraqs Anbar Province. Laselute said he was grateful for this new monument in the heart of the city.
For our family, things like this help us through the grieving process and remind ourselves that our loved ones legacy endures, he said. Monuments like this are what keeps their name alive.
Keiths mother and Laselutes wife, Leslie, was in Southern Utah on Saturday and unable to attend the ceremony.
But Ill bring her back tomorrow so she can see this, he said.
Another Gold Star Family in attendance was that of 1st Lt. Kenneth Kage Allen, an Air Force pilot from Perry who was killed June 15 when his F-15C Eagle crashed in the North Sea during training in England.
Allens mother, Debbie, said the importance of military service had been instilled in her at an early age. She grew up in a military family, and indeed, at one point her own fathers duty was to notify family members when a loved one was killed.
Now its been my turn to experience that, she said.
Allen said the monument is deeply meaningful to her, her husband and their children.
Were a patriotic family, she said. God, family, country. Thats everything to us.
Terry Schow, of South Ogden, is on the American Legions National Executive Committee Utah. Hes got a soft spot in his heart for these Gold Star Families and what theyre going through.
You think about these family members, who will have to live the rest of their life without their loved one, he said.
Schow said these Gold Star Families are one of the reasons old guys like him get upset when someone burns or otherwise disrespects the American flag.
That flag is the last thing these families will see of their loved ones, he said.
Kirk Chugg, leader of Follow the Flag North Ogden, was among the speakers at the ceremony. He was a co-chairman of the committee to build Utahs first Gold Star Families Memorial Monument. There are currently 61 similar monuments installed throughout the country, although this is the first in Utah. The monument was built with the support of the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation.
Chugg said he hopes Gold Star Families will take the opportunity to visit the monument regularly, and when they do he believes theyll feel the love of those around them not just those living in the city, but around the country.
The design of the monument, with the outline of the warrior incorporated into it, is deeply symbolic, according to Chugg.
I watched a young child stand in the cutout of the soldier that represents his father, he said, his voice choked with emotion.
A number of dignitaries attended Saturdays ceremony, including Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, Attorney General Sean Reyes, Congressman Rob Bishop, and other government and military leaders.
For Weber County Commissioner Jim Harvey, the ceremony and monument stirred deep emotions.
I have a great respect for this, a tremendous respect for this, Harvey said. Everyone in my family served, and they came back home. But today, we heard from a great number of families who had a variety of different ways they were notified their loved ones had paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Standing at the ceremony in near-record-breaking heat, wearing a suit, Harvey said its the least he could do for these families.
They told me I didnt have to wear a suit to this, that it would be, like, 140 degrees, Harvey said. But for all that these families have done for us and our country? I can wear a suit. Wearing a suit is nothing compared to what these families have gone through.
Rep. Rob Bishop also found Saturdays event to be an emotional one.
It was hard to go the entire program without crying, Bishop said. As the relatives of those whove given their lives, what they sacrificed adds so much to the beauty of this memorial.
Like many others, Bishop also saw the poignancy of dedicating a monument when others are being removed.
Not every memorial deserves to stand, but we need to be circumspect about it, Bishop said. If were so cavalier about removing everything, that debases us.
Yes, but decades from now there couldnt possibly be anyone who would object to a Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, right?
You never know, Bishop said. Forty years from now, who knows?
Jennie Taylor is co-chairwoman of the committee to build the monument and the widow of Maj. Brent Taylor, the former North Ogden mayor who was killed in Afghanistan in November 2018. She said it took the group about a year to plan and execute the monuments creation, but she calls the finished product breathtaking.
And Taylor says every detail on the monument is very intentional. Particularly the cutout of the missing warrior.
When I see that, I think, Its missing. Hes missing, Taylor said. But whats not missing on this monument is the foundation, and I think thats what the families represent the foundation.
While she would never have wished herself to be a part of this fraternity of service members lost, Taylor is nevertheless grateful for all shes been through.
Im heartbroken to be a gold star wife, but Im very proud of my husband, she said. My husband died so that I can get up every morning of my life in freedom. If that doesnt motivate you, I dont know what will.
Taylor says she hopes the monument will serve to unite people in this age of increasing divisiveness. She called it significant that her husbands final message was, Theres more that unites us than divides us. Taylor looks at the monument, and what it represents, and asks: We fight about everything else, but can we all just agree on this?
We need to turn to each other, she said. But right now, we are turning on each other.
See the original post:
- Freedom of Religion or Belief club formed at BYU - The Daily Universe - Universe.byu.edu - September 18th, 2020
- Freedom 76 At Grandview Will Be Live On FloRacing - FloRacing - September 18th, 2020
- Aviation Analysis: Revival of Fifth Freedom Flights? - Sam Chui - September 18th, 2020
- Trump Attacks The 1619 Project: U.S. Wasnt Founded On Slavery And Oppression, It Was Freedom - Moguldom - September 18th, 2020
- PAUL TIYAMBE ZELEZA - Beyond Political Freedom to Inclusive Wealth Creation and Self-Reliance - The Elephant - September 18th, 2020
- Backyard pool will bring joy and freedom to Niagara Falls boy - StCatharinesStandard.ca - September 18th, 2020
- Parson James Talks New Single, Lockdown, and Artistic Freedom - vmagazine.com - September 18th, 2020
- Private Railways Will Have Freedom To Set Their Own Fares: Government - NDTV - September 18th, 2020
- McCarthy focused on election, not Freedom Caucus push to remove Pelosi - Roll Call - September 18th, 2020
- Julian Assange, and Press Freedom, on Trial in London - Democracy Now! - September 18th, 2020
- Heres How to Retire at 45 with Financial Freedom - Investment U - September 18th, 2020
- Freedom and Madison off to a 'super' school year - Conway Daily Sun - September 2nd, 2020
- Freedom and Independence group formed to combat Soviet terror founded 75 years ago today - The First News - September 2nd, 2020
- COMMENTARY: Your freedom hinges on freedom of speech - The Cherokee One Feather - Cherokee One Feather - September 2nd, 2020
- Will it be Freedom Hilly cross country course? - The Macomb Daily - September 2nd, 2020
- Joliet Township Sued Under The Freedom of Information Act; Unauthorized Fees - Edgar County Watchdogs - September 2nd, 2020
- OPINION/LETTER: Gun range noise is the 'sound of freedom' - Cape Cod Times - September 2nd, 2020
- What was the Red Sox best trade-deadline acquisition? Freedom from luxury-tax penalties - The Boston Globe - September 2nd, 2020
- Fortify Your Home on the Cheap, Part 2 - America's 1st Freedom - September 2nd, 2020
- Sen. Gardner touts vaccine progress, pandemic legislation at Steamboat Institute's Freedom Conference in Beaver Creek - Steamboat Pilot and Today - September 2nd, 2020
- 'Zombies of the Corn' haunted attraction set for 8th season of frightful fun in Freedom - TribLIVE - September 2nd, 2020
- President Armen Sarkissian: Artsakh Was the Spark Which Lit the Fire of Freedom - Armenian News by MassisPost - September 2nd, 2020
- One Database to Rule Them All: The Invisible Content Cartel that Undermines the Freedom of Expression Online - EFF - September 2nd, 2020
- Personal freedom is still limited in most of the Islamic world - The Economist - September 2nd, 2020
- 'Mental Freedom' part two - The River Reporter - September 2nd, 2020
- Tuesday Freedom Kicks: Gelmin Rivas to D.C. United, continued fallout at Real Salt Lake, and more - Black And Red United - September 2nd, 2020
- Freedom Means Something Different to Liberals and Conservatives. Heres How the Definition SplitAnd Why That Still Matters - TIME - August 31st, 2020
- Trademark Parody and Freedom of Speech in the U.S. - JD Supra - August 31st, 2020
- D.C., Loudoun lose, Weston to Juve done & more: Freedom Kicks for 8/31/20 - Black And Red United - August 31st, 2020
- Letter to the Editor: The real meaning of freedom - The Bakersfield Californian - August 31st, 2020
- Bass: Exercising freedom to be exposed to COVID-19 - Berkshire Eagle - August 31st, 2020
- Dean Cain: NYC becoming land of the flee as people leave in search of more freedom - Fox News - August 31st, 2020
- In Conversation: Georgia Anne Muldrow on Finding Freedom as Jyoti - FLOOD Magazine - August 31st, 2020
- Watershed moment for freedom of speech: Prashant Bhushan on SC verdict. Read full statement here - Hindustan Times - August 31st, 2020
- Trumps ban of TikTok and WeChat would reduce Americans freedom of speech and harm foreign investment in the U.S. - MarketWatch - August 31st, 2020
- Letter to the Editor: It's All About Freedom - Centralia Chronicle - August 31st, 2020
- CLARK B. HALL: Rare images record freedom in the making - starexponent.com - August 31st, 2020
- Tantrum Or Freedom Of Expression Over Face Masks? - wcrz.com - August 31st, 2020
- This is my freedom of speech - Newnan Times-Herald - August 31st, 2020
- There are limits to freedom - Mount Airy News - August 31st, 2020
- Freedom in the Muslim World - Cato Institute - August 31st, 2020
- Shevar Perry to Open Solo Exhibit Moments of Freedom August 24th, 2020 - Suburban Journals - August 31st, 2020
- 'I enjoy the freedom and picking funds': why this doctor ditched his 250,000 NHS pension - Telegraph.co.uk - August 31st, 2020
- Freedom and the pursuit of safety - The Boston Globe - August 10th, 2020
- Texas History: Sizing up daily lives in the states freedom colonies - Brownwood Bulletin - August 10th, 2020
- Columbia Professor Sarah Seo to Talk about 'Cars, Police and Freedom in the United States' on Thursday - Redheaded Blackbelt - August 10th, 2020
- Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand Harry and Meghan and the making of a modern royal family - The Guardian - August 10th, 2020
- She Wanted More Freedom and Meaning From Her Career - The Story Exchange - August 10th, 2020
- This Week in Washington IP: Injunctions for SEPs, How Innovation Flourishes in Freedom, and Reviewing SBIR/STTR at the National Science Foundation -... - August 10th, 2020
- Adolescent bodily integrity and freedom from violence in Ethiopia - Ethiopia - ReliefWeb - August 10th, 2020
- Breaking the loan shackle: How to win freedom from debt - Moneycontrol.com - August 10th, 2020
- Behind The Blue: 'Embattled Freedom' And Confederate Memorials - Patch.com - August 10th, 2020
- Mapping Media Freedom: Big Increase in Threats Reported in Albania During 2020 - Exit - Explain Albania - August 10th, 2020
- Flight to Freedom: Pilot lands in Nueces County to pick up two abandoned dogs due to pandemic and flies them to their new foster home - KIIITV.com - August 10th, 2020
- Opinion | With Trump appointing anti-abortion judges, the fight for reproductive freedom is critical - Street Roots News - August 10th, 2020
- 'Behind the Blue': 'Embattled Freedom' and Confederate Memorials With Amy Murrell Taylor - UKNow - August 10th, 2020
- Trump's Threat to Press Freedom Is Global - Truthout - August 10th, 2020
- OPINION: What freedom means to the United States - The Student Life - August 10th, 2020
- Woman claiming to be from 'Freedom to Breathe Agency' gets into viral exchange with store employee over mask policy | TheHill - The Hill - August 10th, 2020
- UNSW criticised for letter in Chinese with no mention of freedom of speech - The Guardian - August 10th, 2020
- COVID19: Is there freedom in silence? - Financial Mirror - August 10th, 2020
- Freedom and justice for ALL | Other Opinions - Aitkin Independent Age - August 7th, 2020
- Girl Hides Audition From Dad, Finds Her 'Freedom In Singing' Watch What Happens Next - Talent Recap - August 7th, 2020
- Masks to freedom: Wearing masks will bring back freedom - The Milpitas Beat - August 7th, 2020
- Tamika Mallory Of Until Freedom Criticizes The California District Attorneys Association's Request For The NFL To Pull Stephon Clark PSA - PRNewswire - August 7th, 2020
- The never-ending struggle: blending freedom and justice, with a dash of compassion - MinnPost - August 7th, 2020
- Freedom in THE SON! - Blogs - The Hutchinson News - August 7th, 2020
- Pardon our noise, it's the sound of freedom: Jaded Thunder returns - Salina Post - August 7th, 2020
- Introduction to the Freedom of Information Act | News, Sports, Jobs - Daily Mining Gazette - August 7th, 2020
- 'It's the freedom of it': Bikers rally in Stateline ahead of Sturgis, unconcerned about virus - The Spokesman-Review - August 7th, 2020
- Australia has a problem with freedom of speech - The Big Smoke Australia - August 7th, 2020
- Troubled Freedom Foods keeps it in the family for now - The Australian Financial Review - August 7th, 2020
- Letter: Marlboro's Degrees of Freedom can thrive - with innovation, collaboration - Brattleboro Reformer - August 2nd, 2020
- 'Freedom' rally in Twin Falls decries moderate Republicans, public education, masks and the media - bigcountrynewsconnection.com - August 2nd, 2020
- When it comes to freedom of the press, it is 'problematic' in many of the richest countries across the world - USA TODAY - August 2nd, 2020
- Editors opened the doors to Freedom School, then even wider as magazine of black thought - Cambridge Day - August 2nd, 2020
- 120 alerts in 4 months: Severe threats to press freedom across Europe - IFEX - August 2nd, 2020
- As feds attacks freedom, where's the right wing? - Santa Fe New Mexican - August 2nd, 2020
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Doing the Opposite of 'Finding Freedom' - The Daily Beast - August 2nd, 2020
- Weve Neglected the Freedom of Assembly for Years Before Portland - Slate - August 2nd, 2020