LAYTON -- The sounds and sights of freedom were evident Saturday at Layton Commons Park for the Sounds of Freedom event, held to bring in funds for a couple of military programs.
The crowded park witnessed an F-16 fly-by, which roared over the rows of classic cars, more than a hundred motorcycles surrounding the park after their ride to and from Pineview Reservoir. The fly-by, ride, plus food and activities, were all in support of Hill Air Force Base's Resiliency Program, which helps deployed and returned airmen and their families, and the new Army Special Forces Memorial Monument at Bluffdale.
Col. Scott Long, of the 388th Fighter Wing, spoke to the crowd about the sounds of freedom heard from F-16s. "We're so proud of being able to show you that sound of freedom, but our funds are being cut, so we can't do as many fly-bys," Long said. "But at least these surrounding communities get to experience the strength of those F-16s on a regular basis."
The current honorary commander of the 388th, Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt, said that sometimes people take for granted all that goes into flying those jets.
"Sometimes we see jets flying overhead and think it's great, but there are thousands of people behind the scenes supporting them getting up there," Hiatt said.
It was fitting that a classic car show was at the event, said John Chambers of Clinton. "The classic cars bring you back to that era when the military was everything to those families," said Chambers, who was showing off his sunset orange 1968 Camaro.
He has been to a host of car shows across the country, and gives Utah a lot of credit for its show of military support. "This state really comes together as a community for good causes," Long said.
Maria Mason, Bountiful, who was at the show with her 1968 blue Camaro, agreed. "I have been impressed with how many military people are involved in the car shows here," Mason said. "It's almost like an extension of HAFB."
Monte Dowden, of Layton, sat next to his 1970 El Camino while reminiscing about his time during the Vietnam War. "I never got support being in Vietnam," Dowden said. "We got a raw deal, but now it's changed and there is a lot of support for those guys, like this event."
After the motorcycle ride, Dave McCrary parked his bike at the park and talked about what it meant to be supporting the military in that fashion.
"Riding my bike makes me feel proud because we're doing something for those who made it possible for us to be here doing something like this," said McCrary. "They do so much for us, so this is a way we get to show our support."