‘All wars’ memorial unveiled outside Ogden veterans home
OGDEN — The George E. Whalen Veterans Home is now the official site of the only “all wars” veteran memorial in Weber County.
Jennie Taylor from the Major Brent Taylor Foundation and 1st Congressional District Rep. Blake Moore were among those who spoke during a dedication ceremony on Thursday to unveil the monument honoring veterans from all branches of U.S. military service in every war throughout America’s history.
Originally, the monument was to be dedicated on Memorial Day. But due to unforeseen circumstances, the monument, built by Mark H. Bott Co., was not able to meet the deadline.
While significantly less in cost than the Tribute Tower erected in 2010 at the veterans home, the public’s help was sought to cover the $25,000 price tag.
“We love OPM — other people’s money,” said Terry Schow, chairman of the Weber County Veterans Advisory Committee.
Through an annual golf tournament held by the Weber County Commission, the veterans committee raised $15,000 for the memorial.
Schow said he was in the right place at the right time when invited to the Weber County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner. Schow said an unexpected announcement was made about money being raised for the memorial.
“Next thing I know, we had money coming out of our pockets everywhere,” Schow said.
Taylor reportedly told the veterans committee if they raised $5,000 at the dinner, the foundation would match it, and they did. According to Taylor, the money came pouring in because there is much support and appreciation for veterans.
Robert Charlesworth, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and vice president of the Resident Council at the veterans home, said even though most of the residents served in Vietnam, everyone who served in a war deserves to be recognized.
Charlesworth said he was at the ceremony on behalf of the residents and the Resident Council president, who wasn’t in attendance.
Residents at the veterans home do not come out often, according to Jacqueline Poulson, state officer over the home.
With the extra money raised in support of veterans, Schow said the committee will be adding a bench and a plaque honoring George E. Whalen outside of the veterans home so everyone can learn about the veteran the home is named after.
Taylor thanked the community for “loving America” and recognizing freedom comes at a heavy price.