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ISLE MARKER HONORS 12 COPTER VICTIMS

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A few months after a helicopter crash near Antelope Island claimed the life of their son, Sgt. Blaine A. Mishak, Frank and Marlys Mishak visited the accident site in an attempt to capture his legacy in their hearts.

It was then that the idea was conceived to build a memorial for the 12 U.S. Air Force soldiers and Army Rangers killed Oct. 29, 1992, during a routine training mission over the Great Salt Lake.Saturday afternoon, after two years of planning and building, a three-foot-high granite monument revering the fallen servicemen was unveiled to a crowd of about 150 people at a commemorative site on Antelope Island.

The Mishaks and other parents, wives, grandparents and children and friends tearfully placed a keepsake from each of the men in a sealed pivot at the dedication services.

"It is with a great deal of honor and pride we accept this monument, recognizing the importance of its placement here," said Lt. Gov. Olene Walker. "I hope they will be remembered by all Utahns as eagles that soared. Although their lives were cut short, their lives and beliefs were well-served."

"We'll always be proud of the men aboard MH60G Pave Hawk," said Brig. Gen. Maxwell C. Bailey. "Their example will mark the path for all of us."

The white pathway leading to the monument is decorated with inscribed stones set in concrete with the name of each fallen serviceman. Engraved on the front of the monument are their names and photographs, and on the back, in bronze plates, a picture of Antelope Island and a brief history of the fatal flight.

"These men died with the same professionalism and commitment of men who died in battles," Gen. Wayne Downing said. "Those who serve in peacetime are those whom the nation depends upon when a crisis arises. They had to train in dangerous, realistic conditions so they could be assured when a threat came, they could respond and meet the demands."

"This is a place of beauty and peace. The monument is to remember the purpose and commitment of those whose lives were cut short," Bailey said.

The monument was paid for by local businesses and donations from families and friends of the servicemen.