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Walk through memories at area cemeteries

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Chris Bairdhttp://www.servedaily.com
Chris is a family man with a beautiful wife and four kids. Three Girls, One Boy. He enjoys playing basketball, being outdoors, and the old normal.

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While several cemeteries in southern Utah County have special areas honoring veterans, others are interesting, peaceful places to contemplate on Memorial Day the meaning of life.

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There are at least 10: Springville, Spanish Fork, Salem, Santaquin, Mapleton and Payson City cemeteries, Mill Fork, Benjamin, Evergreen Cemetery in Springville and Pioneer Memorial Cemetery in Payson.

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Conversely, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs lists no national cemeteries in Utah.

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Springville has two cemeteries, the “Historic Springville City Cemetery” was first used in 1851. Evergreen Cemetery has veterans buried from the Blackhawk War, World War 1, World War 2, Korean Conflict, Vietnam War and Gulf Conflict.

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The Spanish Fork City Cemetery has a Veterans Memorial Wall. “Nice peaceful cemetery that’s well-organized and has some great memorials,” wrote Jeff Bennett last October as a review of the cemetery. “I was quite impressed with their veteran’s memorial. Go early in the morning for great reflection.”

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Much lore has been preserved related to inhabitants of the Pioneer Cemetery in Spanish Fork. John Meadows, for example, is reported to have said no Indian’s bullet ever made could kill him, but one from a renegade Apache in 1882 did. Meadows first was said to have been buried in his house, then dug up and moved to Payson’s Pioneer Cemetery.

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The Payson City Cemetery’s history isn’t as colorful, but both resting places appear peaceful, with spacious grounds, birds that sing, and shade-giving trees.

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The Mill Fork Cemetery received its last resident in 1926. D. Robert Carter wrote a fascinating article in the Provo-based Herald Extra in 2007 about the “tragic tales” of some people buried there.

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The newest cemetery in the area is the Mapleton Cemetery; it opened in July, 2015. It is the only cemetery in the town that was established in 1902.

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The cemetery includes a Veterans Memorial, with markers for each branch of the service. It also has an interactive kiosk, which was the only one in a cemetery in the state when it first opened.

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Cemetery visitors can see at the kiosk memorial photos, videos, obituaries and life stories of the deceased, along with specific burial spots. A for-profit venture, the Mapleton Cemetery includes two majestic sculptures.

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Ben Peay and Dallas Hakes originally intended the 9-acre property to be a subdivision, but Peay discovered in talking with the seller, Don Nelson, that Nelson had served in the military with Peay’s father. 

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“I told Ben things about his father he never knew,” Nelson told the Mapleton News online publication at the dedication for the new cemetery. “Along the way, we talked about military funerals too.”

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As a result, the cemetery Mapleton city leaders and residents had talked about for 30 years came to life, with initial space for 2,000 burial plots spread across three acres.

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Therefore, on this Memorial Day, Utah County residents and visitors can view patriotic ceremonies, mull over memories during quiet times of reflection or perhaps explore the past in the area’s nine cemeteries.

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Avatar
Chris Bairdhttp://www.servedaily.com
Chris is a family man with a beautiful wife and four kids. Three Girls, One Boy. He enjoys playing basketball, being outdoors, and the old normal.

More from Author

Serve Daily: August 2020

Enjoy the 99th issue of Serve Daily. This issue is full of great articles by local Utah County writers and made possible...

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Life is full of challenges. We knew that last year and we know that now. Life, at any time, has at least...

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Click to View our Sponsors Websites

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Emma Beach, a fourth-grader at Mapleton Elementary, recently won the Sweepstakes Award for the Utah Arbor Day Tree Poster Contest. 
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