OGDEN -- A large bell tower arrived Monday at the George E. Wahlen Ogden Veterans Home, and veterans officials hope it brings with it the sound of freedom.
The Veterans Tribute Tower was constructed in Cincinnati and completed the 1,800-mile trek from Ohio to Ogden over the last few days.
The tower was escorted across the country by Patriot Guard Riders and then by the Utah Highway Patrol once it reached Morgan County.
"Ogden has a deep tradition of honoring our veterans," said Terry Schow, executive director of the Utah Department of Veterans Affairs.
"We're proud to offer this permanent tribute to those men and women who have made, and continue to make, sacrifices for each and every one of us."
The 30-foot-tall, 13,000-pound tower was lifted into position using two large cranes that slid it into place on a support pad.
Constructed of steel, with a glossy black- and gold-trimmed covering, the tower will rise in front of the flagpoles at the entrance to the nursing home and includes a bronze bell cast last year at Ogden's Veterans Day celebration.
Each of the four faces of the tower will display a 2-foot-tall clock, emphasizing the tower's theme of "Take Time to Remember."
The tower will be officially unveiled to the public at 3 p.m. Thursday, Veterans Day, at the nursing home at 1102 N. 1200 West, in Ogden.
The ceremony will feature Lt. Gov. Greg Bell, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah.
After the tower is dedicated, it will chime every hour and also will play patriotic music.
"This bell will be a voice for the Ogden community in their tributes to honor past, current and future veterans," said Ralph Lowell Coleman Jr., Utah Veterans Tribute Tower project officer.
Schow said his department still needs about $40,000 to cover the full cost of the tower.
"We're getting close. We've been extremely lucky to have so many generous people step up and help us out."
Donors can log on to www.veterans.utah.gov and find a link to an online donation form that can be used to buy the laser-inscribed bricks that will form the plaza of the tower.