Snow and slush didn't dampen the Dixon family's Memorial Day trip from Farr West to the Ogden Cemetery on Monday morning. Taylor and Stacey Dixon put galoshes on themselves and their four children and went to his grandparents' grave just as if it were sunny and warm.
They were among the hardy few.
Rain and snow covered the mountains in white, soaked the ground, thinned crowds and threatened the efforts of veterans groups to remember their dead.
The weather caused health concerns to keep the older vets away. John Roods, post commander of American Legion Baker-Merrill Post 9, said members of his post who fought in World War II and are now in their 80s and 90s, got to the Ogden Cemetery at 7 a.m., looked at the slush falling and cancelled their morning tradition of putting flags on the hundreds of veterans graves around the cemetery.
Roods even told the bugler to go home when it looked as if memorial ceremonies for the Civil War and for military members lost at sea would also have to be cancelled.
Enough members showed up later, so the ceremonies went on, however, they included a special ceremony of throwing flowers onto the surging Ogden River to remember those lost at sea.
The Dixon family was already there, though, gathered around the grave of Dixon's grandparents. It is an annual trip Taylor said is important for the children.
"They (his grandparents) were amazing people, so if my kids know that, that's good," he said.
The family gathered around the marker. Stacey Dixon asked her kids, "Do you know who this is?" and when one answered it was their great-grandparents, she said, "Their bodies are in the ground but where are their spirits?
"They're up in heaven. Do you think of them looking down on you? Can you think of doing things that make them proud? Why do you think we visit their graves? For them? No, it's to remind us. We bring flowers to honor them and to remember them."
Across the road more than a dozen people were gathered around the grave of Richard Slater, a member of the Mormon Battalion and the man for whom Slaterville is named.
Slater's great-grandson, Leland Saunders, Harrisville, was there with some of his 10 children, 52 grandchildren and 85 great-grandchildren so he could tell the story of the family's founding.
"He was in California when gold was found at Sutter's Mill," Leland Saunders said, referring to the discovery that set off the California Gold Rush. "He brought some of the first gold back from the Gold Rush."
Saunders' eldest son, Kevin Saunders, said visiting the family gravesites is a family Memorial Day tradition. The family's dead are buried in the Ogden, Aultorest and Syracuse cemeteries, so they visit all three, Leland Saunders tells them the stories of their ancestors, "and then he treats us all to breakfast."
Not all military remembrances were put off by the weather.
The annual Kaysville Memorial Day Program went off without a hitch despite the snow.
Snow and rain fell intermittently, but more than 200 people heard Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt say it was appropriate that "so many of you turned out to honor those who sacrificed so much despite their surrounding conditions."
Guest speaker Maj. Gen. Brian L. Tarbet, Utah National Guard, said the weather told him that his troops might soon be out filling sandbags to help fight local flooding, but he said more than 1,000 of them will also be overseas again by this fall.
Speaking to the veterans in the audience, Tarbet said the guardsmen under his command are the moral descendants of the World War II, Korean and Vietnam veterans and are carrying on the fight to defend the nation.
"I think you need to be very proud of those who have taken the torch from you," he said. "They are wonderful soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, but they learned much from you."
Over the past decade, Tarbet said, he's had to send many children of his friends and neighbors in Utah off to war with the National Guard. He thought he understood the worries and suffering of those parents, he said, but this year's he's gained a new perspective on their situation.
"This year I get to be one," he said, as his own son, Christopher Tarbet, a helicopter pilot, goes to serve in Afghanistan.
"It's given me a whole different perspective," he said.