Utah Freedom Memorial set to open to the public in Sandy

- SANDY, UTAH (ABC 4 Utah) – The finishing touches are being put on a memorial to honor Utah service men and women from past and present.

Eight years after the Utah Freedom Memorial was inspired by an American hero.

In 2006 Marine Corporal, Adam Galvez made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country in Iraq.

"He had been blown up by an IED, dug himself out and pulled a couple of his buddies out. Within about two months he wanted to go back and so on one of his first operations when he went back he got hit by another IED and this one took his life," said project volunteer, Paul Swenson.

Galvez's father wanted to make sure his son and others like him were not forgotten.

"It's for the fallen, but not just the fallen. It's to honor all the men and women of all the branches of the military in whatever conflict or war throughout our nation's history," said Swenson.

The memorial is designed to help visitors experience the conflict through the eyes of service men and women and their loved ones at home.

It sits on the south end of Sandy City Hall, next to the “Hope Rising” firemen at ground zero sculpture.

The city donated the ground, hundreds of volunteer hours and $25,000 for the project.

"This memorial is about showing the true cost of freedom through the eyes of those that have given the most to preserve it. We absolutely have to give that knowledge to each generation, so we truly recognize how valuable freedom is," said Sandy City Communications Director, Nicole Martin.

At one point the vision was in doubt.

"This has been a long project, we started in 2007, wasn't really sure if it was going to happen and it bounced back," said Art Director, Perry Vanschelt.

Now it’s just hours away from opening to the public.

It will be unveiled as part of a community celebration Friday night at 7:00 PM.

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