KAYSVILLE -- The American flags held by Patriot Guard riders, against the backdrop of the sunrise over the Wasatch Mountains, set the scene for the dedication of the 9/11 memorial at Utah State University Botanical Gardens.
A rainbow, as if on cue, appeared in the western sky following Tuesday's hourlong event.
"It was beautiful. I thought it was a sign," Davis County Commissioner Louenda Downs said of the rainbow.
Before the dedication was over, the 125 people who gathered in Kaysville for the 11th anniversary of 9/11, had been treated to some of nature's finest beauty, emotional musical performances and mindful speeches. It was all part of setting aside a place of tribute to victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and related war.
The monument, paid for through donations collected by Davis County Youth of Promise, upon completion will list the names of all the victims with Utah ties killed in 9/11 and the corresponding military action.
"On this 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, we remember the three Utahns who lost their lives that day: Mary Alice Wahlstrom, her daughter Carolyn Beug, and Brady Howell," Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said in a statement read by spokesman Adam Gardiner.
Howell, from Tremonton, was working at the Pentagon as a Navy intern when a terrorist-hijacked plane struck the building, killing him and many others.
Mary Alice Wahlstrom and Beug, of Kaysville, were killed when the hijacked plane they were in, American Airlines Flight 11, crashed into the World Trade Center's north tower.
"(The ceremony) was overwhelming," said a red-eyed Margaret Wahlstrom, who lost her mother-in-law, Mary Alice Wahlstrom, and sister-in-law, Carolyn Beug, in the attacks.
"It never goes away," she said of the pain.
Beug was a mover and a shaker, recently having written a children's book and doing some work with Disney, Wahlstrom said, while Mary Alice Wahlstrom prior to her death talked about her fear that when she died no one would attend her funeral.
Mary Alice Wahlstrom would have been grateful for the crowd that gathered Tuesday, Margaret Wahlstrom said.
Utah National Guard Maj. Gen. Brian L. Tarbet said the acts surrounding 9/11 and the heroism that followed, should always be remembered as part of this young nation's history.
"We can't forget this," said Tarbet, who spoke at the event.
The memorial will remind others that on this day, "3,000 of our citizens were murdered," Tarbet said, and the lives of thousands of soldiers were taken in the military action that followed.
Tarbet said he has helped bury eight of those soldiers.
"The terrorists that attacked America on September 11, 2001, sought to break our nation's spirit, but instead united a country committed to the pursuit of freedom and liberty for all," Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said in a statement out of Washington D.C.
One other notable participant in Tuesday's program was Jim Openshaw, who offered the prayer and in it asked for the country to be able to heal and rebuild.
Openshaw is the father of Gary Openshaw, of Layton, who on Nov. 28, 2001, as a member of the Coast Guard, became Utah's first casualty in the war on terror.