Utah monument will honor military and serve as an educational tool

By Don Hudson

Published 04/08 2014 05:45PM

Updated 04/08 2014 08:29PM

SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) A monument designed to honor military sacrifices and educate our youth is a step closer to being finished.

The Utah Freedom Memorial is now under construction in Sandy. On Tuesday, ABC 4 Utah had a chance to check on the progress of the monument and, for the first time, see what the monument will look like when it is complete.

The Utah Freedom Memorial doesn't look like much today. In fact, the area in front of Sandy City Hall is roped off because the monument is still very much under construction. But one month from now it will look much different.

The people behind this massive undertaking are excited to finally see it coming together.
Perry Vanschelt says "We are going for a strong emotional content. We really want people to feel the emotion of this." Vanschelt designed the memorial. He says the monument will feature a soldier's boots and helmet on a cross. And on the back side of that - a touching tribute of love. "We will have a sculpture of a female touching the hand of the soldier on the black granite. Gone, but not forgotten."

This amazing monument will eventually by 40 by 50 feet. However, it started on a very personal level - a tribute to the son of Tony Galvez - who was killed while serving in Iraq.
Galvez says it quickly changed to recognize all who've served. "This is for those who have fallen. Those who have come back. Those who have served and those who are still serving."

And he says, eventually the monument turned into both a memorial and an educational tool.
"Why was a 21-year-old willing to raise his hand and say I will go, send me. I will fight for your freedom. I will fight for somebody else's freedom and liberties."

Both Galvez and Vanschelt believe, when it opens, the monument will tell a story that will help youth understand what freedom is all about, as it pays respect for those who have fought for it. Vanschelt: "There are a lot of people here who have had a lot of loss and we are just trying to honor them."

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