Flags and Crosses Honor Veterans in Spanish Fork Cemetery
May 25, 2019, 3:45 PM | Updated: 11:21 pm
SPANISH FORK, Utah – A spirit of reverence fills each cemetery, especially when “Old Glory” is flying.
But in Spanish Fork, there’s something that can take you breath away.
“My father has a flag out here, a couple uncles,” said Steve Stone, himself a veteran, who helps to organize this tradition in Spanish Fork each Memorial Day weekend.
“When people go up and down and up and down and finally see their names it’s very special to them,” he said.
There are 1767 crosses at the cemetery and one is added each time a local veteran passes away. They are placed in alphabetical order.
“Each cross has the name of a veteran who was actually physically buried here in our cemetery,” said Steve Wilson, of the American Legion Post 68.
But as time as gone on, more crosses have been added.
“There were about 500 crosses when I started here,” said longtime resident Richard Davis, who has volunteered for more than 30 years to set the crosses in the cemetery. It’s become very personal for him.
“These are my heroes, you know these are schoolteachers, these are mentors, these are people that I love. You can walk down these rows and almost every other one I can tell you a story about them,” he said.
About a hundred volunteers come each year to set up and take down the crosses. They gather to set them up on the Thursday afternoon before Memorial Day.
“It brings out a real genuine spirit of involvement,” Wilson added.
And helps everyone who visits the cemetery this weekend, to remember those who have fought for freedom.
“All these names represent somebody that has served this great nation and being able to participate in honoring those veterans of those soldiers as well as family members is very special to me,” Stone said.
And very special to this community. The flags and crosses will remain in place through Monday.