Members of Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square pay respects to fallen US soldiers in the Philippines

Feb 24, 2024, 5:22 PM | Updated: Feb 26, 2024, 10:28 am

MANILA, Philippines — Members of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square visited the largest American cemetery outside of the United States, making it a tender and special day for all.

The Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines is 152 acres in size and has 17,113 headstones of those military members who died during World War II.

“Just a peaceful, sacred, and beautiful place,” said choir member Jana Ellsworth to KSL TV. “Even the grass is laid perfectly around the tombstones.”

“There is a sacredness to a place like this,” said choir member Cory Jensen. “I’m overwhelmed with the weight of everything that they sacrificed and we get to benefit from.”

However, for choir member Dennis Flynn, the cemetery became personal quickly. That’s because his great uncle, Carl Guy Draper, is buried in the cemetery.

Draper was a pilot in the Marines whose plane went down during a dog fight on May 25, 1945, in the Southeast Pacific.

A trip to the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines quickly became personnel for Dennis Flynn, a member of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. His great uncle, Carl Guy Draper, is buried there after dying in World World II. (Dan Rason, KSL TV)

“I can’t describe it. It’s overwhelming,” Flynn said. “I grew up revering Carl Guy Draper who gave the ultimate sacrifice in our family but never thinking I would have the opportunity to pay tribute to him right here until the choir had scheduled this stop, and I did a little research and learned where he is buried.”

He quickly Facetimed his dad.

“I thought you might like to see this live,” said Flynn to his father.

“Wow that’s awesome,” his dad said.

Flynn then got other family members on the call.

“This is Carl Guy Draper’s final resting place. Can you believe that no one has ever seen that from our family?” he said.

In another location of the cemetery, some choir members gathered to spontaneously sing one of their famous patriotic songs, “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

A field trip and a moment in time during the choir’s world tour stop in the Philippines none of them will forget, especially Flynn who connected in a personal way with a beloved family war hero.

“This is a special experience and makes this entire trip meaningful to me personally,” Flynn said. “I’m the first one in the family that has ever been this close and being able to visit him in the nearly 80 years.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

An aerial view of the Holladay home after crews detonated old dynamite in the basement on April 24,...

Lindsay Aerts

Only chimney remains after Utah house containing old dynamite, detonated in Holladay

A chimney and the smell of smoke was all that remained of a home in Holladay Wednesday after a significant amount of old dynamite was discovered inside.

39 minutes ago

The Bear River pictured on April 24, 2024. On the topic of the Bear River's resources for water in ...

Mike Anderson and Mary Culbertson, KSL TV

‘Sacrifices’ will need to be made from Bear River water supply to help Great Salt Lake

With the Bear River serving so many different purposes in the state of Utah, agricultural producers are trying to make sure their uses for the river aren't forgotten as lawmakers discuss the preservation of the Great Salt Lake.

54 minutes ago

A fire to one of the top suppliers of eggs in Utah has sparked the question whether egg prices and ...

Dan Rascon

Will a fire at a egg supplier in northern Utah cause prices to increase? The company president says no

A fire to one of the top suppliers of eggs in Utah has sparked the question whether egg prices and supplies will be impacted. 

2 hours ago

A view of the Great Salt Lake from Fruit Heights on January 20, 2023. (Lisa Ward)...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

How much will the Great Salt Lake rise? State to offer a reward if you guess it correctly

Levels at the Great Salt Lake are higher now than at any point in the past five years, and those who are tasked with overseeing its level believe it will rise about another foot in the coming weeks.

2 hours ago

A billboard advertising mortgage rates for buying a house in April 2024....

Daniel Woodruff

‘I got frustrated and gave up’: High mortgage rates keep some Utah homebuyers on the sidelines

Some Utah homebuyers are beginning to give up on owning a home as mortgage rates continue to gatekeep them.

3 hours ago

at 8:29 a.m.
Brenda Dye, the Fremont County coroner, testified Wednesday about the reasons why sh...

Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Coroner describes changing Tammy Daybell’s cause of death to homicide

The Fremont County coroner described responding to Tammy Daybell's death, and why the autopsy results changed her mind about the cause of death.

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Members of Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square pay respects to fallen US soldiers in the Philippines