PLEASANT GROVE, Utah — A 30- by 60-foot American flag was strung up over the canyon in Pleasant Grove as a patriotic salute for the Fourth of July.
What started out as an idea to surprise people, to make them smile, turned into something that is bringing people to tears in Grove Creek Canyon.
“A woman walked up. She said, ‘my son died under that flag,’” said Kyle Fox.
Fox was at the mouth of the canyon Monday evening. Behind him, a 30- by 60-foot flag flapped in the breeze, strung between the canyon walls.
Fox had the idea for the ‘By the Dawn’s Early Light’ project back in February. Over the past five months, a small army of volunteers, including local Boy Scouts, helped Fox get the flag into the canyon for the Fourth of July.
“It sent chills through me,” said Denny Salisbury, a corporal in the Marines who was injured in Iraq in 2007. “My truck was hit by an IED so I received shrapnel injuries, burns and traumatic brain injury.”
Salisbury spotted the flag while hiking nearby, part of his training for Warriors to Summits. On his leg, he bears the names of three fellow Marines killed in combat.
Fox said since hanging the flag, he’s heard stories like Salisbury’s over and over.
It’s been so moving, he and his volunteers say it’s hard to imagine not doing it again next year. Perhaps making the Grove Creek Canyon flag a new Fourth of July tradition for Utah.
To get an up close look at the flag, people can go to the Grove Creek Trailhead off of Grove Creek Drive, north of the “G” on the mountain.
Monday was the last night to see the American flag lighted up.