Memory Grove: Memorial to Fallen Utah Sons

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - On this patriotic weekend, let’s remember those who kept our freedom going these 238 years.

We visit Memory Grove, where a flag flies high over head in memory of James Thomas who died in World War II, but the wars continued…

A new plaque on the other side is in memory of his grand nephew Brandon Thomas who died in Baghdad.

There is a meditation chapel in memory of Lt. Ross Beason who was shot down 70 years ago off the coast of Italy his body was never found.

The monument remembers all heroes who also never had a grave. Here at least they have a stone to mark their sacrifice

In the center of it all is a poem common to all… It reads “My soul lies not in alien seas or on foreign soil … it is here with you today in the warm sweet smile of God.”

A little over 15 years ago, a group of the war widows, friend and family members of those who were lost over seas came up here and paid respects and shared their stories with me.

Jean Pitts was married for just five days when her husband went to the Philippines. Corporal Davis spent two years as a POW. He was being transferred to Japan in what was called a hell ship for POWs.

“And they had all our prisoners in a hole and it was torpedoed by our ships. Because it was unmarked and they had no way of knowing our prisoners were aboard,” said Pitts in a 1998 interview.

We met Donna Klank delivering a flower to her cousin’s marker. She had already paid respects to her brother’s marker, Bill Armour.

We wonder what he would have looked like today. How many children,” said Klank in a 1998 interview.

Armour was just a kid.

“It is a place you can come and you remember. You reminisce, it’s just a nice comfortable place to come.”

Bill Armour was another Utah son who closed each letter with the words that he missed his grandma.

These are the people who were the subject of some of the saddest telegrams in history. They were lost and would never be found

It’s a memorial to our Utah sons. Under the gold leaf ceiling, you see their faces in the windows each dedicated to the service they gave this country then and they gave it for our country for us today.

The Utah Heritage Foundation is opening the doors of the meditation chapel for the public each Wednesday this summer from noon to 2:00 p.m. It is a beautiful and reflective way to spend time in Memory Grove. Memory grove is located just off of downtown Salt Lake City, east of Capitol Hill.

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