There are certain numbers that hold a special significance for each of us. For me, those numbers are 13 and 31.  I used to think 13 was unlucky, but then I started noticing it,   in all areas in my life and discovered that it was actually very lucky for me.

But today, I want to share another number.  A number that should resonate with each of us in the City of Orem: that number is 2,177.

There are 2,177 veterans buried in the Orem City Cemetery. Many of them died in overseas wars and were brought home to rest. Many more survived their battles and were eventually buried here, carrying both the visible and invisible scars of war.

While we honor and revere all FORTY-ONE MILLION VETERANS who have served in the U.S. military since the Revolutionary War, I want to focus on the 2,177 veterans in our cemetery.

These brave men and women were very much like us. You might be related to some of them. Most were residents of Orem, with families, jobs, hobbies, and busy lives, just like each of us. What sets them apart – is they answered their nation’s call to serve in the military. When our country needed them, they stepped up. They were ordinary Orem residents who did extraordinary things for their country and their community. 

With Memorial Day just behind us and the 4th of July just ahead of us, we must ask ourselves: are we living up to the example they set? 

While we may not face the harsh realities of war, our contributions to this community are also incredibly important. The true measure of our gratitude is reflected in our daily actions and in the value we add to this community. 

Laying flowers, waving American flags, and visiting cemeteries are meaningful gestures, but we should be inspired by their legacy to serve, enhance, and cherish our community. The best way to honor the 2,177 is to be a great Orem resident. Give back to your community. Get involved in causes that uplift and strengthen our city. 

No matter how small, any effort to be a better person and add value to our community makes a difference and honors the memories, the lives, and the service of the 2,177.

One of the ways we as a city are trying to honor and remember the legacy of our veterans is by building Utah County’s first Gold Star Family Memorial. “Gold Star Family” is the designation reserved for families who have made the ultimate sacrifice in losing an immediate family member in the line of military service. 

This monument will create a sanctuary of remembrance for members of our community to honor service members, find hope, and seek healing in the face of military loss. We want to make sure that these families know they are not forgotten. 

I invite you to join us in this historic project to honor these incredible families and carry on the legacy of the 2,177. Your support of this project, through 100% tax-deductible donations, will ensure that our community always remembers the sacrifices of these noble families. Please visit to make a donation today. 

Let’s commit to doing our part by listening instead of talking, being honest, standing for freedom, being kind, being grateful, showing optimism, doing the right thing, and being the best person we can possibly be.

I pray that none of us are ever called to fight another war. But, I am calling on all of us to pitch in for our community, to serve each other, and to commit to making Orem the best city it can be. Each one of us has a role to play to build up our city and be there for each other.

We are all part of the legacy of the 2,177. Our commitment to this community and to each other is the finest tribute we can offer to their memory. 

I’ll see you next month. 

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