NORD OGDEN, Utah – Veterans Day is this next Thursday.
It is one of Utah’s most popular holidays due to our military connections, bBut the people of northern Ogden didn’t want to wait another four days to celebrate.
Even when the wind blew and the blankets were removed from their summer resting places on Sunday, you could still feel the heat in the northern Ogden.
Hundreds of people came to Barker Park to listen to a late afternoon devotion focused on veterans.
“Thank you for those who have served, who are currently serving and who will serve,” said one of the speakers on stage.
Veterans Day is still a few days away, but people here will tell you it should be everyday.
“It’s easy to take it for granted, but it reminds us how precious our freedoms are,” said Dave Wald.
That’s why Dave and Mona Wald bundled up with their kids and brought a blanket to sit on the grass of the amphitheater.
They wanted to listen to the ceremony.
There is a pretty good crowd gathered at Barker Park in North Ogden. There is a devotion to launch and celebrate the events planned here this week for Veterans Day. We make a story about it for @ KSL5TV to 10. pic.twitter.com/w2ca0VnyLJ
– Alex Cabrero (@KSL_AlexCabrero) November 7, 2021
Sunday night’s event helped celebrate the city’s weeklong event list for Veterans Week.
Their motto is “Now more than ever”.
Seeing people united instead of divided has given Navy veteran Scott Sparks hope.
“I just love that enough people have shown up and still care,” he said. “Especially see all children and young people. It was nice to see them watch it all and learn.
For everything that happened in the ceremony in front of her, Mona Wald couldn’t help but notice the large flag fluttering in the canyon behind her.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it,” she said, looking at the flag. “We experienced it firsthand – the sacrifice our community had to endure. It’s just not the same since the death of Mayor Taylor.
The flag, called “The Major”, is named after Major Brent Taylor.
It was the former mayor of North Ogden who was killed in Afghanistan.
Taylor’s wife Jennie helped organize the North Ogden event as part of the Major Brent Taylor Foundation.
“How grateful we are to be here tonight,” she told the crowd.
Sunday night, it was about thanking those who served for everything they did.
And do it on a day other than Veterans Day.
“We always tell them, thank you, it was our pleasure, which was,” Sparks said. “I would do it again in a heartbeat. “