TAYLOR/WEST WEBER -- Keith Anderson was only 5 years old when a telegram was delivered informing his parents of the death of their son Hyalmar, 19. A tailgunner in the Navy, Hyalmar's plane crashed off the coast of Canada during World War II.
His name, and those of hundreds of other servicemen and women from the Taylor/West Weber communities, are engraved on three 8-foot-tall granite pillars erected in the West Weber Cemetery several weeks ago. A special flag-raising ceremony near the monument was held Memorial Day morning.
A five-man committee has worked for several years to finalize the design and raise the funds necessary to complete the project. Half the $18,000 needed for the monument was secured through donations. The rest was earned through a 5K fun run and silent auction held last August.
Dave Bott came up with the original design and donated two benches installed near the monument constructed by his company, Bott Memorial. For the artist's rendering, committee member Larry Leavitt asked his engineering students from Weber State to put the monument in a computer-generated setting to show how the final memorial will look upon its completion. The flatwork was donated by Rod Herrick and his son Joseph, both local building contractors.
Four hundred names of locals who served in wars from World War I to Desert Storm are engraved on the massive structures. The stone monoliths have writing on both sides with some space allowed to add more names as they're discovered. A few people have come forward with more names to add.
Several members of the committee have served time in the military or have relatives who've served. Thomas Moline's uncle, Harold, was 21 when he was killed in Italy during World War I. Larry Blanch's brother, Dwayne Blanch, died in 2001 from leukemia, a cancer attributed to Dwayne's exposure to atomic testing during the Korean War.
Blanch, Moline and the other committee members said they were proud to be involved with such an important project.