When a veterans memorial is dedicated in the city's historic cemetery May 25, it will house plaques for the six - not five - wars in which U.S. soldiers have fought since Sandy was incorporated in 1893.
The memorial, a project of the Central Sandy Community Council, will pay tribute to the men and women participating in Operation Desert Storm - along with veterans of the Spanish American War, World Wars I and II, and the Korean and Vietnam conflicts."It (the memorial) has been on the drawing board for months, even years, but the approval given by the council to erect a veterans memorial can only be considered a case of eerily appropriate timing," said Bertha Rand, chairman of the memorial committee. "Now we need to add a plaque for the Persian Gulf war."
The memorial was designed by Janet Witherspoon, a resident of historic Sandy. Construction will begin in April on donated plots in the Historic Sandy Cemetery at the corner of 9000 South and 700 East.
In the center of the circular plot will stand a lighted flag pole that will fly the U.S. flag 24 hours a day.
"This memorial will be a place for people in the community to stop and rest and pay tribute to those who have given their lives on behalf of our country," said Sam Burggraaf, Central Sandy Community Council chairman. The council was formed by the Sandy City Council as the Sandy Quandrant Council. "It will also be a place where other community events recognizing the military contributions of many in our community can be held."
The memorial is being built primarily with donations from Sandy citizens and businesses. Because many have donated materials, the committee needs only $5,500 to construct the memorial.
But the memorial is only Phase I of a larger enhancement and renovation project planned to upgrade and beautify the cemetery.
Rand said the other phases, to be completed over the next couple of years, will include new landscaping, repaving of cemetery roads, wrought iron and brick fencing, curbs and sidewalks and a formally designed entry way.
"Our goal is to raise $15,000 to help with these projects," Rand said.
Committee members are confident that funds will be available.
"We've learned through talking with many of the residents of Sandy that this cemetery is very important to them," Burggraaf said. "There's a feeling in the community that for many years the significance of the cemetery had been forgotten.
"Through gentle pressure from local residents, carried along by a wave of patriotic spirit that has swept the country, it became clear that the time was ripe to restore the cemetery to its original dignity . . . while constructing a permanent memorial that states that Sandy City is proud of its men and women who have died in the service of their country."
Sandy City and the Sandy Museum Foundation are co-sponsors of the veterans memorial. Others wishing to support the project can send contributions to: Sandy Museum Veteran's Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 1215, Sandy, UT 84091. Donations are tax-deductible.