Photo Essay: Roses to remember veterans

Thursday, June 12

The crew waits patiently for me to write a blog post.  We’re in the Perfect Tow Vehicle parked in a shady spot along the road near I-15 on the outskirts of Nephi, Utah.  Finally, I finish!

“Okay, let’s take a look at this town.”

As I enter Nephi a flash of colors catches my eye.

1-DSC04892Wow!  What a gorgeous rose garden!

1-DSC04893I park the PTV in the shade at the curb.

“I’ll be right back.  I have to see this.”

As I step on the carpet of green grass, I’m awed by the many varieties of roses, their blooms in full display in the noonday sun.

I drift around the flower beds, kneeling to take photos.

Gosh, they’re beautiful!

1-DSC04889-001I wonder what that building is.  This is a memorial garden of some sort.  It’s obviously well-tended.  The design is lovely.

1-DSC04911I make my way to the far side of the garden.

1-DSC04899I walk through an arch and approach a war memorial.

1-DSC049001-DSC04903This is the Juab County Veterans Memorial.  Later I read a description online:

“When its mesmerizing array of multicolored roses is in full bloom, the rose garden on the southwest corner of 100 E and 100 N draws the eye and brightens the neighboring Veterans Memorial.  Renovated and rededicated on September 11, 2008 as a public service project of the Nephi Lions Club, the memorial bears upon its marble surfaces the Pledge of Allegiance and the names of thousands of Juab County Veterans who exemplified outstanding patriotism.”

1-DSC04901-0011-DSC04894I walk around the granite slabs . . . hundreds and hundreds of names . . . mostly young men who grew up in this peaceful valley along with their siblings, fresh-faced boys, a few girls . . . 

The same family name over and over . . . brothers?  cousins?  fathers? sons?  All from this one county. 

I imagine a young man, barely more than a boy, exploring the canyon with his buddy, fishing the creeks, driving with his girl in his first car between lush fields, walking these same streets . . .  Not one, but hundreds, each one an individual with dreams and plans . . .

1-DSC04908Probably most of those names are Mormon families, “proud to be an American.”

I leave the memorial section and return to the rose garden.

1-DSC04905Whereas before I was taken with the beauty of the roses, now it pierces my heart and my eyes fill with tears.

Each rose has a voice.  “I was young.”  “I was alive.”  I love you, Mom.”  “Remember me.”

1-DSC04895If you ever come through this way during the season of roses . . .maybe zipping north or south on Interstate 15, I encourage you to take a detour into Nephi.

1-DSC04906The memorial is easy to find.  Take the time to pause, read the names, and listen to the roses.


NOTE:  This post is off the topic of RVing and boondocking and dogs being cute.  Forgive me for drifting away from the usual topics.  I want a record of this experience.


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59 Responses to Photo Essay: Roses to remember veterans

  1. Diann in MT says:

    What a beautiful tribute you have created, Sue.
    Thank you for this post!

  2. Reine says:

    Your post really does relate to RVing. Recognizing and appreciating the sacrifices of those who died so that you and all of us have the FREEDOM to roam and enjoy is something we all should do more often.

    The pictures and the sentiments are heartfelt and wonderful.

  3. Susan (MO Ozarks) says: said it all..great job Sue..!

  4. Lisa W says:

    As Reine said, this post definitely ties into RV’ing. Thank you so much for stopping and letting the rest of us know about this memorial. You brought tears to my eyes today. And as usual the pictures helped to convey your message.

  5. Geri Moore says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share this experience with us! Beautiful roses and gentle, brave spirits !!!

  6. Cindy says:

    Really beautiful…and like other commenters stated; it IS related, as you would not have seen it if it weren’t for the fact that you are out there RVing!

  7. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    I believe it is part of RVing. While on your journey of Living on less and enjoying life more…your path came upon this beautiful tribute to the Veterans who sacrificed all.

    The garden is beautiful and well maintained. For all the names etched in the wall, their service and sacrifice has been brought to the attention of individuals, who without you, would have never known.

    We may not know who they are but we will never forget! Very touching post! Thank you for your service and may you all rest in eternal peace!

  8. Marcia GB in MA says:

    This is one of the most poignant and moving posts you have ever written. I’m glad you stopped there and shared it with us. It touched me greatly and we’ll be sure to visit the memorial when we go that way again. My husband is a Vietnam vet and my Dad fought in WWII so we have a special appreciation for these memorials, as many of us do, I’m sure.

  9. Karen from Canada says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautifully dedicated memorial garden visit with us, Sue. I would not have known about it otherwise. Such beauty certainly captures the heart and soul, doesn’t it!!!!! A wonderful tribute, indeed!!!

  10. AZ Jim says:

    What a nice job of portraying what you saw there, felt there and shared with us by word and picture. Thanks Sue…

  11. Sondra-SC says:

    I love Roses, tried to grow them here in the sandy soil…haven’t had much luck but kept trying! I now have one knock out rose that has made it so far, as long as the deer, squirrels, rabbits, white flies, Japanese beetles and the moles don’t find it! A perfect tribute to the brave ones in that garden in Nephi.

  12. Applegirl NY says:

    Beautiful memorial, Beautiful roses, Beautiful post. Thanks Sue,
    God Bless America and God Bless those who have served.

  13. Patricia from Florida says:

    Sue, u outdid yourself with this post! Beautiful job, well done.

  14. Gayle says:

    What a perfect post, just on the heels of D-Day tributes. RVing is all about enjoying our beautiful country. And why do we still have it to enjoy? Because thousands made the ultimate sacrifice. Beautifully put together post, RVSue. RV can also stand for Respecting Veterans.

  15. John says:

    Glad you shared. Places to experience (not just see) is part of what RVing is to me. Beautiful post in many ways.

  16. Debra Larson says:

    RVing gives us a chance to see the unexpected. Very beautiful. Debra

  17. Jool says:

    Sue, this beautiful post brought tears to my eyes. My dad, 90 (with whom we will celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday) is a retired Captain, USMC, and WWII veteran who served with the Marine Raiders. http://www.usmarineraiders(dot)org/
    I treasure every single day with him. There are only a few Raiders left, and indeed, few WWII veterans.
    I praise and send blessings to every man and woman serving in the armed forces now and in the past.
    Jool in North Texas

  18. Jool says:

    ps: I deliberately spelled out “dot” in the above web link in case a link would not go through.

  19. Teri says:

    I will happily read about whatever subject you choose. 🙂

  20. Pam says:

    Great post Sue, a timely reminder of all those Dads, Grandfathers, Brothers and friends that did not come back to enjoy Fathers Day with their families. (Moms, Grandmothers, and Sisters too). Our freedom to choose the way we live will forever be a debt to them. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Glenda in OZ! says:

    I so loved this post Sue, shared your emotions as you viewed the many names displayed…………..Lest we Forget! What a beautiful tribute to so many fallen. Thank you for sharing this very special place.

  22. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi Sue,

    What a beautiful garden honoring our heros. Thank you so much for sharing. I have added this to my list of places that I would like to visit in Utah. Please feel free to go “off subject” anytime. Once again, you brought a special place to our attention. The rose garden is absolutely stunning – an unexpected, although bittersweet pleasure. I could almost smell the sweet roses….beautiful pictures.

    Have a good evening, Sue and Crew. 🙂

  23. Barb George says:

    Oh Sue!
    I echo others feelings, this absolutely IS RVing! Would you have known of this heavenly spot from GA? I certainly would not have!
    Sending hugs and warm thoughts,
    From Hoquiam

  24. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Sue, that was a beautiful post. My late father was a member of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion and trained in Fort Benning Georgia. He was one of the lucky ones who returned home after WWII ended. The Rose garden is such a beautiful way to honour those brave men. Thank You for sharing it with us.

  25. Evelyn says:

    Oh Sue, you had me in tears. So many young men not just here but everywhere, so many useless wars, so many……. :(((

  26. Pam Wright says:

    Thanks for taking time to share this beautiful spot and open your heart:)

  27. Judithcamper says:

    Thank you Sue.

  28. Marilu says:

    The beauty of this garden and the beauty of your words brought tears to my eyes. Sue, don’t ever feel you need to apologize for telling us about what touches your heart because for most of us it will touch our hearts, too.

  29. weather says:

    when a life is sacrificed for another,whatever sadness ensues,obstacles are met,life changes into-I think we most honor those that passed away by celebrating the life in and around us,because ultimately it was our happiness they tried to protect

  30. EmilyO in NM says:

    That is one of the most beautiful memorials I have ever seen. Thanks for sharing it with us and I am sure there will be a few of us who will also visit this Honored place.

  31. Ilse says:

    What a wonderful post! Thank you Sue!

  32. Lana in Phoenix says:

    Beautiful post. Just a reminder – Saturday, June 14, is Flag Day.

  33. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Just came across a neat site with different people’s stories about how they began full-time rving…if you are ok with me posting the address, I will do that later…it is not spam…but with the rash of it lately…will wait till you are back in the area to keep tabs here more, Sue. Beautiful photos…nice remembrance.

  34. JodeeinSoCal says:

    One of those bitter sweet moments that forever change our view of the world. Thank you for sharing Betty.

  35. JodeeinSoCal says:

    To bloom again each year in beauty. To be remembered by strangers who never knew us, but can glimpse our short lives. To have a place that is all our own surrounded by the changing landscape of what was our home. To remind all of the great sacrifice of the very young. We are honored here.
    Sue, you found a special place that I wish did not exist. Here, or in any other country. Thank you for sharing more than the smell of the flowers :-).

  36. Ron in TX says:


  37. Willow (AZ) says:

    Your post is very much a part of the RV lifestyle, you took time to visit this beautiful memorial to honor all the brave men and women who served their country. It is a lovely tribute to all of them. Thank you for sharing this with us. GOD BLESS AMERICA

  38. As Time Goes.....Bye says:

    A perfect & very touching post to read on Flag Day Sue.

  39. Willow (AZ) says:

    Beautifully said. I often think how they just wanted to be home with family, doing ordinary things like going out for pizza, camping & maybe a little fishing.
    Your tribute by honoring each day is beautiful.

  40. Deb from NJ says:

    What a beautiful rose garden and a wonderful tribute to those that served our country.
    So sad that so many have lost their lives. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Have a great day.

  41. rvsueandcrew says:

    Welcome to my blog, Betty! I don’t think I’ve seen you here before. Thank you for sharing your reaction to all the crosses at the national cemetery.

  42. Al says:

    THANK YOU!!!! Tears running down my face.


  43. Elizabeth says:

    Even for those who came back, or did not have to serve on the ground there, having to be gone for many of the best years of one’s life (strength-wise anyway) is a price servicemen pay. My hubby was 6 years serving in submarines. No picnic either. Within a year of getting out, he had the worst case of mono that the doc had ever seen. Yes, he was working too hard to get us set up in that year (our baby son and me too) but he had so many long hours without much rest (he helped run the nuclear part of the sub and was lucky if he got to sleep 6 hours out of 24 of the months he would be out to sea). You loose much sleep like that for a long time and your health will plummet. His did at least. I feel some of the health issues he has now may well go back to that time. And none of this even approaches the price paid in emotional health…relationships with others. On subs then, the divorce rate was 75%…it is a hard life. I felt we did not really begin to work on our marriage until after he was out. I never complained nor tried to discuss problems with him when he was home…because he would soon leave again and I wanted him to have good memories. But problems eventually must be dealt with…and had to be once we were civilians again. We both paid a price for that!! I am grateful he at least had a much easier time than those who were permanently injured, or those whose families lost them. Our military people and their kin deserve a much better honor in this country than at least we had during Viet Nam days. (He did not go off because he wanted to be involved in a war…and did not join because he really wanted to either…but there was the draft then…)

  44. rvsueandcrew says:


    Once again the crew and I are in the PTV parked in Nephi in order to pick up internet signal (Today we’re in the Wendy’s parking lot). It’s become an enjoyable routine… After breakfast, the crew and I head into town so I can read your comments and write another post.

    I was very pleased to open up this post and find over 50 positive reactions to the photo tour of Juab County Veterans Memorial. Thank you for your gratitude to those who’ve served and sacrificed and also, for being receptive of my emotional reaction.

    I have read and enjoyed every comment. I’d like to reply to each one, but the crew only allows me time to blog and read!

    After I wrote this post and the crew and I were relaxing at camp, I reflected on my rose garden experience and what I had written about it. I realized the last line could be better and this morning I changed it.

    Best wishes to all of you on Flag Day 2014!

  45. MK in NE GA for now says:

    Thanks for a wonderful post. I grew up in Portland Oregon home to a huge rose test garden and have many memories of walking through the rose gardens. I love the smell of fresh roses and there are so many types to enjoy. If anyone ever finds themselves in Portland during rose season I highly recommend a stop at

    My father was a navy WWII vet and didn’t talk about it much, he was a machinist mate stationed in New Caledonia, years later McCale’s Navy came out and my dad watched and laughed all the time, he then fessed up it was based on his unit…LOL. As we grew older he did share some of his stories and some were pretty wild and some were dangerous.

  46. jonthebru says:

    You know; you didn’t just stumble on this memorial garden. It was there and you put yourself in the environment and place and attitude to find it. And then you, like many of us would, didn’t just stroll through, appreciating the beauty and the feeling of the place and moving on. Instead you took photos, wrote it down and many others witnessed the place and the feeling with you.
    That is what you do… every time.
    Hammer, meet nail!

  47. Dawn in MI says:

    This is lovely. Beautiful. Heart wrenching. So glad you shared it with us. I’m reading this on Flag Day. How appropriate.

  48. bonnie & the "dovemobile"(still in texas) says:

    SUE, so hard to type with tears in my eyes…what a lovely place you found…
    What a tribute to ALL the men & women who gave their all for our freedom.
    Utah impresses me more and more each time you find something else to
    show us. There are GOOD people left in this world, and not just here in this blog…
    Thank you for sharing you heart with us, we love you…BONNIE

  49. Sue – You never need to apologize for taking time to recognize those who have served our country, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedom. Without them, there would be no Rving or much of anything else that contributes to our quality of life. We are so incredibly grateful.

  50. Todd says:

    Hi Sue. I hope you don’t mind but I really am wondering how your solar system functions and I think it’s something special. I don’t know of anyone else that has none like yours. Could you tell me if this is correct. Sun shines on panel. Electricity goes to charge controller and then to battery’s. Are there wires that go to your inverter and then from the inverter. To your camper.

    PS I’m still in may 2014

    Love your photos and blog

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