Riverton family honors veterans with patriotic light display

Nov 11, 2023, 10:26 AM

RIVERTON — A husband and wife are paying tribute to veterans with the kind of display you normally see during Christmas, and they’re inviting the whole community to enjoy the patriotic presentation this weekend.

The Eaton family wanted to do something different from the usual light shows that spring up this time of year, and it’s bringing tears to people’s eyes as they visit and pay tribute to veterans in their own lives.

Drawing in the whole neighborhood, flashes of red, white, and blue light up Brandi and Aaron Eaton’s house on the aptly named Admiral Drive.

A group of people gathered and stood across the street Friday night, watching the lights in awe. Brandi and Aaron spent countless hours printing 3-D parts and stringing thousands of lights to create the display.

Aaron programmed the lights to move to music, morphing into designs like the Statue of Liberty and the American flag.

Brandi said they usually put up these lights for Christmas, but this year she wanted to do something special for Veterans Day.

“I want to unite us. We’re all so divided, you know?” she explained. “And because of these veterans, and because of everything that they’ve done in our country.”

Brandi’s late father was in the Air Force, and then the Air National Guard, and she said her grandpa was also a veteran. Two of her brothers-in-law are also in the military.

For a holiday that is usually only celebrated on one day of the year, Brandi wanted to turn it into a whole week of patriotism.

“These veterans, they don’t get the recognition I think they deserve,” she said.

On Friday evening, Tina McCafferty pulled up with her family.

This was her second trip to the light display this week.

“I’m like, oh my gosh, my kids need to see this! Because I think it is so important,” she said of her reaction the first time around.

On her second visit, Tina’s 15-year-old daughter Sydney stood by her, taking in the lights and watching the projector presentation which included photos of events like 9/11 and of Brandi’s family members.

Tina, who hosts a podcast interviewing veterans called “We The People, Our American Story,” started to think of veterans she knows and has met.

“I have someone that I’ve talked to, he’s a Marine. And a month into deployment, he stepped on an IED and lost both of his legs, and his vision,” she said. “And he said, ‘I would do it again.’”

Listening to the stories she’s heard, Tina said it’s impossible to comprehend.

“I am so grateful for those… for those men and women that put their lives on the line for us,” she said, getting choked up as she spoke.

With heavy stories of war and sacrifice in mind, everyone who stopped by took a solemn moment to reflect, to appreciate, and to pay tribute to the men and women who serve and have served.

“I just want to honor them,” Brandi said. “Let them know that they’re appreciated.”

The Eaton home is on Admiral Drive in Riverton. The Eatons will run the display with music from 5:30 to about 9:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

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Riverton family honors veterans with patriotic light display