r By Mayor Steve Leifson, Spanish Fork CityrAs I think about the upcoming Veterans Day, I want to give my whole-hearted “thank you” to all the veterans for what they have done and for what they are doing today. They provide a great service for our community and our nation. I remember when I was a young boy growing up here in Spanish Fork and going to our Veterans Memorial Building. This building was built by the American Legion, VFW, Spanish Fork City, and many of the citizens of our community. They spent a lot of their time and money to construct that building and my grandfather, J. Victor Leifson, was in charge of overseeing the construction of this building.
The Veterans Memorial Building has been used for many activities in addition to veterans meetings over the years. I remember going to an art show there when I was in grade school. There was a painting of the ocean with waves crashing over the rocks and the waves seemed so real to me that I could almost feel the mist of the water. This was a meeting place for the community where many dances and family parties took place. For a period of time, the city used the front part of the building as the city offices and now today the Daughters of Utah Pioneers reside there. The Veterans Memorial Building has been a big part of our city for a long time.
Next door to the Veterans Memorial Building, where the fire station is now, was the National Guard Armory building. The National Guard would hold their training there once a month and it was always fun to see the Army jeeps and tanks in the back of the building. I used to play basketball in the gym every Saturday morning, and on Friday night would be the “Sock Hop” where live bands would play and the high school youth would come to dance.
I feel very grateful for all the veterans and the buildings we have to honor them. They are a big part of our community and it is nice to be able to work hand in hand with them in order to help make our city a better place to be. It is a comfort to know that if there is ever an emergency in our city, we can depend on them for help in any way.
This Veterans Day, let’s take time to remember our veterans and show our gratitude for them. It is because of them that it is possible for us to be free, to live our lives and enjoy this, “the greatest nation in the world.”