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Memorial to Gold Star families being built in Draper

Posted at 5:46 PM, Mar 21, 2023

DRAPER, Utah — A new memorial coming to Draper City Park will honor Gold Star families who have lost loved ones in active-duty service.

“We are, by nature, part of the military family,” said Gold Star father Tony Galvez. “They incorporate us, and we need to be available and do things that they can come to and remember their brothers and sisters.”

Galvez’s son, Cpl. Adam Galvez, lost his life at just 21 years old while serving in the Marine Corps in Iraq.

“August 20, 2006, he was in a vehicle that ran over an IED, killed him, killed the corpsman, killed the gunner,” said Galvez.

Galvez said it’s memorials like the one coming to Draper that will help his son’s memory live on.

“You know, they were all willing to sign that blank check saying 'I will give my life.' What I want is I want people to remember that while they were willing to do that,” he said.

He also said it helps service members and veterans returning home to Utah.

“I got a call in the middle of the night from his sergeant major and he's crying his eyes out because he couldn't save Adam,” he remembered, “He couldn't save the other people that were involved. So, monuments like this are not just for the Gold Star... it's also for those that have survived and they need a place to go to remember them.”

Draper city manager David Dobbins said he hopes some of the thousands who walk through the park daily will stop to reflect on the sacrifices those like Adam made for our freedom.

“It's almost a life-size memorial that will have different photos of military and city places that we think will help people to remember the military and the sacrifice that we've made,” said Dobbins.

Dobbins said the memorial is expected to be completed this summer.

It’s funded in part by the city and also through donations.