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The City Journals

Historical Committee Installs New Banners to Honor Veterans

May 05, 2016 02:45PM ● By Tori La Rue

By Tori La Rue | [email protected]

South Jordan - Before Memorial Day, the South Jordan Historical Committee will add four banners to the South Jordan Veterans Memorial to honor those from the U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force who have claimed the Memorial Park Cemetery as their final resting ground. 

Each 3-by-5-foot banner will have one of the branch’s seals on it. The banners will surround the American flag already in place, and will fly six feet below it, according to Don Rees, historical committee member. 

“When we look at it, we’ll honor the servicemen and the ultimate sacrifice that they’ve done for us,” Rees said. 

The banners will be in place by Armed Forces Day on May 21, and will remain up through Memorial Day. Historical committee members will continue to put the flags up on select holidays, Rees said. 

The banners will be a great addition to the “thoughtful memorial” community members put “so much love into,” Luane Jensen, committee member, said. 

South Jordan’s Veterans Memorial Statue was created by L’Deane Trueblood in 2002. She made a similar model for a Saint George park, but the statue was clearly a soldier from Vietnam, Jensen said. 

“We had her change a few things here and there to incorporate all different branches of infantry,” Jensen said. “All she had to do was change the helmet, gun, ammunition and belt from the other model to represent all the services other than just Vietnam. We wanted to represent all branches.” 

Residents and local businesses donated money to fund the memorial, and the cement and flagpole were also donated, Jensen said. The spot for the memorial was selected because the foundation of an old South Jordan School was still there, so they had a foundation to build the memorial on. 

Jensen led a Scout troop that helped her clear the site in preparation for the installation of the memorial. While they were clearing a place for the memorial, one scout asked her if his grandpa could dedicate the site, she said. His grandfather was Boyd K. Packer, who was acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the time, and Packer dedicated the site on May 4, 2002.

“It’s an honor to have helped in this project,” Jensen said. “If I never do another thing in my life, I am proud to walk the cemetery. It’s very, very moving,” she said through tears. 

Jensen has a personal connection to the project because her dad and husband are veterans, and although they aren’t buried in the cemetery, their patriotism has influenced her.

“The memorial is quite sacred where you can sit on the benches and think,” she said. 

Hal Maylor, whose backyard backs the cemetery, said he’s excited to see the memorial expand with the four new military banners. Maylor and his family decorate each veteran’s grave with a small American flag every Memorial Day, so he said the place is important to him. 

More than 350 veterans are buried in the cemetery, according to Maylor. Each veteran’s name is inscribed on a plaque on the copper memorial. Members of the American Legion will be read their names off at the annual Memorial Day program. 

This year’s program, on May 30 at 10:45 a.m., marks the first of many where the new military banners will fly in the background.