Perpetuating what has become an annual pilgrimage for many Utahns, family members and friends will gather at cemeteries around the state Sunday and Monday to honor their own.
Caretakers throughout Utah spent most of the past week preparing for the Memorial Day weekend crowds by watering and mowing lawns, trimming bushes and setting up the traditional white crosses to pay tribute to fallen soldiers.Kent Peterson, Provo City Cemetery manager, said this may be the last year white crosses and small American flags are set out, row upon row, in a special section of the cemetery.
The local Veterans Council has for years organized and handled the stirring, colorful display of 1,503 crosses and flags, he said. But instead of continuing the tradition, the council has considered building a permanent memorial to all veterans, including the names of those killed in conflicts, near the present monument honoring an unknown soldier.
The new memorial might be similar to the popular Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., Peterson said.
The forecast for the last half of the Memorial Day weekend includes a 40 percent chance of scattered showers and thundershowers Sunday afternoon as a storm front pushes into Utah from the West Coast. Daytime highs will reach only the 70s and 80s under partly cloudy skies on Sunday and will cool into the mid 60s through Memorial Day.
Lows Sunday will be in the upper 50s to low 60s, dropping into the 40s by Monday.