Salt Lake Mayor Palmer DePaulis unveiled a new monument Wednesday at the entrance to Memory Grove Park - a monument that had been destroyed by the spring runoff floods of 1983.
"There's really few things in the city that we do that have the significance of what we're doing today," the mayor said to a group of about 50 people gathered at the park."Today is the rededication of this monument and a real tribute to all of us . . . mostly the public works people that put this back together."
DePaulis said the city did not have funds to restore the monument that fell and shattered when excess water formed a cavernous channel alongside it during the floods of '83. He said city employees worked on the monument with any time and material they could scrape together.
The construction of the new monument at the southwest entrance to the park makes an important statement to the community, he said. "The employees of Salt Lake City have a great deal of concern and care in the ambiance of life here."
DePaulis said he remembered well the floods that reshaped parts of the Salt Lake Valley. "I recall standing very timidly behind these trees as I felt the rumblings vibrate through my body," he said. "It was a very traumatic moment in time, but it was very exhilarating.
"In a magnificent moment of teamwork, people side by side began throwing sand bags and getting the job done," he said.
Salt Lake street superintendent Duane Fuller presented plaques of recognition to 12 workers who helped rebuild the monument.
Salt Lake City Councilwoman Sydney Fonnesbeck said she witnessed the monument fall in 1983 and called it a "horrifying experience." She said she thought then that she would never live to see the monument rebuilt.
"It's a real tribute to this city," she said. "It's great to celebrate something wonderful happening in this city."