The Orem Freedom Tree has been an icon on the Orem City Center campus since 1977. Conceived and executed as an Eagle Scout project by Craig Meyer, son of Orem resident Margo Harrington, the Freedom Tree stands as a symbol of remembrance and honor for our brave service members who are prisoners of war (POW) or missing in action (MIA).
The genesis of this noble endeavor can be traced back to a poignant final conversation Craig had with his late uncle Gary, which inspired him to pursue his Eagle Scout award. The inspiration for the Freedom Tree project was further fueled by Doris Dingwall, a close family friend who experienced the pain of having her husband go missing in action during the Vietnam War. Doris used to decorate a tree in Provo to honor the memory of her beloved spouse, and Craig strongly believed that individuals like Doris deserved a dedicated place in Orem to pay tribute to their fallen loved ones.
With the support of the Mayor, City Council, and city staff at the time, Craig diligently collaborated to bring this memorial to life. Craig led his scout troop in raising the necessary funds for the monument and actively participated in its construction and placement. Over the years, Craig has been invited by many City Councils to speak about the project.
Craig’s service to the community continues as he has served in law enforcement for many years. During the Christmas season, the Freedom Tree takes on a profound significance as it is adorned with blue lights, serving as a solemn reminder of the immense sacrifices made on behalf of our nation. It lets the families of these lost service members know that their loved ones may be gone, but they are not forgotten.
Craigh Meyer – Originator of the Freedom Tree