Flags placed to honor World War II veterans on VE Day

Friday , May 08, 2015 - 2:20 PM

Standard-Examiner correspondent

WASHINGTON TERRACE – City manager Tom Hanson and mayor Mark Allen woke up bright and early Friday morning to honor the men and women from their city who served in World War II.

Ninety flags, representing 90 veterans who returned to live in Washington Terrace after the war, were placed at the city entrance at the corner of 4300 South and Washington Blvd., also known as Victory Way. This year commemorates the 70th anniversary of VE Day, the day marking the Allied victory in Europe in World War II.

“At the time of the war, Washington Terrace was not yet a city,” said Hanson. “It served as military and government housing to support the war effort.”

Hanson said the city still has the old street signs Navy Way, Marine Drive, Victory Way and now the newly created Air Force Drive.

Hanson said the flag field idea came from West Haven resident Kim Dixon, who was researching her father’s military service.

“I started researching my dad’s war story from newspaper clippings and I found some really interesting stories,” Dixon said. “My father and two uncles all served in the war and as I got older I started thinking about how hard that must have been for my grandma to send three of her sons out to war.”

Dixon’s father, Donald Skeen, served as a welder in the Navy. When he returned home, he continued his work as a welder at Defense Depot Ogden.

“As I was researching his story, I thought it would be interesting to get a list of Weber County soldiers who served in the war, so I kept researching. I thought maybe I would find around 1,000 names but I ended up finding around 6,000,” she said.

Dixon took her information to the mayors in Weber County and asked them to create a flag field this Friday representing the veterans who served from their city. Flags were also delivered to homes in Ogden where soldiers once lived.

“We asked them to place the flag on their property before 8 in the morning to dusk,” Dixon said. “Before my father died, I asked him about his service and he told me it was the greatest privilege of his life and he wouldn’t trade it for anything. He was truly patriotic. I did this because I want people to understand the part Weber County played in the war and how they left their homes to serve their country.”

Hanson said although the men and women of the Greatest Generation never considered themselves the greatest, they were loyally and patriotically answering the clarion call to serve our country and defend our freedom.

“Throughout the nation, and here at home, we all enjoy the freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness because of their sacrifice,” he said. “As a community, may we always show gratitude and support for our Veterans and their families.”

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