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Memorials to hail soldiers, police, firefighters, EMTs

Rendering of the Pleasant Grove Memorial Gardens that is to be built at the Pleasant Grove Cemetery.
Rendering of the Pleasant Grove Memorial Gardens that is to be built at the Pleasant Grove Cemetery.

A place that honors the dead in Pleasant Grove will soon include a place to honor the living.

Plans call for a 1.2-acre memorial in the Pleasant Grove Cemetery to be dedicated to soldiers who fought and then returned home to build their communities and their nation. Policemen, firemen and emergency medical technicians also will be honored.

The Pleasant Grove Memorial Garden Committee will hold a kickoff fund-raising event during the Pleasant Grove Heritage Festival on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Pleasant Grove park, 100 S. Main. The committee is seeking $200,000 in donations for the gardens that will include a bronze sculpture by local artist Robert Oscarson. Renderings of the proposed site will be on display.

According to Paul Olpin, Memorial Garden committee chairman, the bronze will depict a Revolutionary War soldier shaking hands with a modern-day infantryman, with both standing on a globe of the world.

"We don't minimize the loss of life but want to honor those who came home and helped build up our society," Olpin said.

Land for the gardens has been donated by the city and will be located at the north end of the current cemetery. Richard Huish of Pleasant Grove will be the main designer of the gardens.

In conjunction with the main garden, there will be small memorial gardens placed throughout the cemetery honoring civic heroes. These sitting areas will be for meditation and will have smaller memorials to police, firefighters and EMTs.

The Memorial Gardens committee is anticipating starting the project in spring of 2004. Donations may be made Saturday or after that at any of the commercial banks in Pleasant Grove. Renderings of the gardens will be on display at each of the banks for public viewing.