RIVERTON, Utah (ABC4) – Over three hundred combat boots, many filled with flowers, are lined up on the floor as part of a powerful Memorial Day display.
This Memorial Day weekend, one Utah nonprofit is doing its part to honor fallen Utah soldiers and help their families heal.
Operation Hero, an organization that works to support families of military members, has over three hundred military combat boots on display, each representing a Utah soldier that’s fallen in uniform since 9/11.
Each boot shows the name and a picture of a fallen hero, with some of the boots decorated by family members.
“We had one person walk in and say, ‘I feel their presence’,” Operation Hero Volunteer Coordinator Jan Hendrickson said. “You really do. They’re here with us.”
Hendrickson said the display is “emotional for everyone involved,” whether they have lost a loved one or don’t even know someone serving.
Family members and loved ones say the display helps them heal. For the Barton family, the display is important to them as their son Zachary Barton served in the Air Force and has a boot representing him in the display.
“People say, ‘Oh, I know how you feel,’” Christi Barton said. “You don’t unless you’re part of this. Being here with the other families that are in the same position we are, it just helps keep all the memories alive.”