Hero Field returning to Pleasant View as part of Veterans Week observance
PLEASANT VIEW — A tribute to those who have served the country in the nation’s military is set to return this week.
The Hero Field — a gathering of American flags dedicated to service members that has been erected on the lawn of the Pleasant View City Hall by the Major Brent Taylor Foundation each year since 2019 — is set to begin taking shape Wednesday evening as the foundation commemorates Veterans Week.
Jennie Taylor, widow of the late Maj. Brent Taylor and executive director of the foundation, told the Standard-Examiner that this year will have a robust display.
“It’s going to be a beautiful opportunity for the community to celebrate men and women in uniform, both past and present,” she said. “We’ll have about 300 flags put in front of the Pleasant View City Hall building right there at the corner of Alberta Drive and 500 West. And on those flags will be special dedicatory tags. During the month of October, we allowed people to submit a dedication for a family member, a friend or anyone they know and wanted to honor that has served in the military or is currently serving.”
Each dedication tag will include name, rank, years of service and a personalized message.
Taylor said the display draws a wide variety of people whenever it’s erected.
“We’ll have families that come and walk through the field and read the tags and try to get a little bit of a story of some of these men and women in uniform,” she said. “Sometimes we’ll have school children come on field trips to the field — particularly from Weber High School or Lomond View Elementary because they’re within walkable distance. Some teachers have chosen to bring their students over to the field and make it a conversation starter about what the military is, what a veteran is, really what a hero is.”
She said some of these teachers even use the visit to the field as a prompt for classroom activities such as writing letters, essays and art projects.
The origins of this display go back to 2018 and stem from Taylor’s personal tragedy.
“My husband was serving as the mayor of North Ogden at that time,” she said. “When he was deployed, he was killed on Nov. 3, which was right between Election Day and Veterans Day. On Veterans Day, our community held a vigil at the Barker Park Amphitheater. That was a Sunday evening and we had flags everywhere.”
She said things got started on an annual display the following year.
“As we reached the one-year anniversary of his passing, we gathered again at the amphitheater and we put up a large field of flags,” she said. “It’s been up every year since. In 2020, we started putting the flags up in Pleasant View to involve more of the community.”
Taylor said there aren’t strict requirements on which service members are honored whenever the Hero Field is erected.
“If you know or love a service member and they have (served) or are serving, then that’s all the eligibility we need,” she said. “Maybe you live in the North Ogden area, maybe you don’t. Maybe your service member does, maybe her or she doesn’t. Either way, we want to honor them.”
She said the goal of the display is ultimately to be a conversation starter and a unifying event.
“We have statistically less than 1% of Americans currently serving in the military in a uniformed capacity — that means there’s 99 civilians for every man or woman in uniform,” she said. “We just want to make sure those 99 civilians get an opportunity to express their gratitude, maybe learn a little bit of the history, maybe take it upon themselves to find a veteran, ask them to tell their story and learn a little more about what’s behind that uniform. We felt that, in doing so, we can ignite a sense of patriotism that bridges the gap not only between service and civilian, but it also bridges the gap between young and old.”
The Hero Field will be erected starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday and will be in place until Nov. 12. It will be open to the public throughout.
The Hero Field is only one part of the Major Brent Taylor Foundation’s Veterans Week activities. Other events include:
- The third annual Leadership Legacy Fundraiser Dinner Gala slated for 6 p.m. Friday at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center.
- The Memorial Ruck March at 9 a.m. Saturday beginning at Ben Lomond Cemetery and culminating at Coldwater Canyon Trailhead
- A nondenominational Veterans Day devotional set for 4 p.m. Sunday at the North Ogden Barker Park Amphitheater.
- A veterans memorial blood drive from 1-7 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Pleasant View South Stake Center.
For more information on all of the Veterans Week events, visit https://majorbrenttaylor.com/veterans-week.