Light display honors Sgt. Bill Hooser, who died in the line of duty

May 11, 2024, 9:27 AM | Updated: 6:16 pm

SANTAQUIN — A community grieving the loss of Police Sgt. Bill Hooser found light on an unexpected hillside.

A red and white heart with a solemn blue stripe through the middle dotted the east mountain above Santaquin.

David Hartle, of Meadow in Millard County, is the heart…behind the heart.  David has been giving light to communities facing tragedies for years.

“We saw that Sgt. Hooser lost his life in the line of duty and we wanted to lift the community.  We wanted to show love for the Hooser family and spread unity,” David Hartle said.

David, his children, and a few neighbors hiked the steep and trail-less slope to measure out the heart.

“They will be up there for a couple of hours setting up,” Tandi Hartle said.  “My husband, David, has spent countless hours finding the right location and then measuring out the coordinates.  It’s a big process.  After the lights are placed, we will get on cell phones; I am talking with him and telling him to move it to the left or right…so the heart looks good from below.”

The display captured people’s attention. Friday night dozens of cars pulled over in the Macey’s Grocery Store parking lot to view and take pictures of the memorial.

“It brings a lot of comfort to a lot of people, and that’s the main purpose for all of this,” Tandi said.  “It’s hard to explain how much joy it brings.  But to see smiles on other people’s faces and the peace it can share during difficult times – it’s truly all about giving comfort.”

This light display honors Hooser who tragically lost his life on the side of Interstate 15 after investigators said a semitruck driver intentionally flipped his big rig around and hit him.

“We appreciate all the sacrifices of police officers,” David Hartle said.  “I came up yesterday to measure this all out using more than 50 lights.”

The light display is over 300 feet tall. It will shine over Santaquin through Monday, May 13th.

More information about this volunteer group and past projects can be found here.

Since 2017 Illuminate Hope Foundation has created a Christmas star during the holidays, a strawberry for Pleasant Grove’s city days and countless light memorials for grieving families.

When the light memorial is removed next week, organizers said they will gift a single twinkling light to the Santaquin Police Department to always remember Hooser.

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Light display honors Sgt. Bill Hooser, who died in the line of duty