The Snarr family lives with pain. Every time they hear someone has been the victim of yet another violent crime, their hearts break.
They have been there. Their own son, Zachary, was murdered while looking at the stars with his best friend, Yvette Rodier.Saturday - almost two years since the incident - the family dedicated a flag and flagpole in front of the family business, Snarr Brothers Industrial Park, 4870 S. 300 West, to the memory of their son and all victims of violent crime. At the bottom of the flagpole is a plaque telling "all those scarred by acts of violence," they are not alone.
The flag, which was raised at the service, is visible from I-15 and is just a few dozen feet in front of the business's marquee that Zachary Snarr's father said will always proclaim "Zachary Hans Snarr - 1978-1996. We love you."
"We as a society must never become numb and begin to accept acts of violence as everyday occurrences," Ron Snarr said. "Our son, Zach, died from a senseless act of violence. The only act more senseless would be for us - the victims and families and friends of victims - to give up and stop fighting back."
About 100 people were at the dedication, where Zachary Snarr's mother, father and uncle, Murray Mayor Dan Snarr, spoke. Linda Rodier, mother of Yvette Rodier, also addressed the crowd, and a member of the Utah Opera Company sang "Amazing Grace" and Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven." A lone bagpiper played in remembrance of Zachary Snarr's trip to Scotland after his graduation from high school.
On Aug. 28, 1996, Zachary Snarr and Yvette Rodier, both 18, were preparing to take photos of a full moon near Little Dell Reservior when they were gunned down by Jorge Benenuto. Yvette Rodier suffered wounds to the stomach and head and has since had five operations. Zachary Snarr was pronounced dead at the scene.
Benenuto is now serving a life sentence in prison.
Surrounded by photos of Zachary Snarr white-water rafting and holding a guitar, family members told of favorite remembrances. He lived by the creed "do unto others as you would have done unto you," and was a champion of those who were being hurt by others, Ron Snarr said.
Sy Snarr, Zach's mother, said, "We like to think that this flagpole is a connector, a link that will take us a little closer to heaven - where our Zach is."
Frustrated that she couldn't remember names of victims - and only the oft-repeated names of their killers, Sy Snarr came up with the idea for the memorial. Ever since her son's murder, she said she has been so much more aware of what the victims are suffering.
Linda Rodier said she would like to see the memorial also serve as a reminder that the surviving victims face an "infinite, endless struggle" to recovery. Though Yvette Rodier is now married, studying communications at the University of Utah and working, she struggles daily, even hourly, to go on, her mother said.
"I can't tell you how many times Yvette has thought, I wish I had lain there beside Zach and died with my friend," Linda Rodier said.