By Hailey Minton
The idea behind Heroes Boulevard in North Ogden began with Kristine Barker. “My mom grew up in Bullhead City, Arizona,” said Kristine. “A few years back, the two of us went back so my mom could see how much it had changed.” The city had a banner-lined street called Heroes Highway, which was a tribute to their military members. “Both mom and I were choked up by the tribute and decided that if there was a place on earth that could get behind a project like this one, it was North Ogden, Utah.”
Kristine was working with Laurel Pendleton in the Boy Scouts program, and they got the boys together with Jennifer Hunsaker to find a way to make it happen in North Ogden. The boys approached the North Ogden City Council and presented the program. Councilman Larry Urry was the first to donate, with the instructions that the money could be used for our banners or ice-cream if the program didn’t pan out. “We left that council meeting committed to the program,” said Kristine.
They raised the money they needed for the project long before they found willing service members to highlight! Neighbors, friends, the North Ogden Kiwanis Club, and Smiths all contributed money to make it happen.
They found service members by setting up a booth at Cherry Days, knocking on doors, and using Facebook. “In one case, we saw three blue stars in the window of a North Ogden resident’s home and stopped and knocked. We found out pretty quickly: don’t ask the military member directly for permission to put up a banner. They can say “no” pretty easily. They are not in the military for the fanfare; they are in it for the love of our country. We learned that asking the spouse or parent of the service member brought us more luck.”
Before long, they had collected 22 pictures of military members. Janice Jones at Jones Shirts and Signs helped design the banner, and the first set of banners were installed in July 2017.”
Do you have someone in mind who should be recognized on Heroes Boulevard?
Reach out to Shelly Robison at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she can put you on the right track. Community members can fill out a nomination form and submit it to North Ogden City at 165 E Lomond View Drive. The City also has a Gold Star section beginning at 2550 North, southward on the west side. The city has started accepting veterans to honor, and North Ogden City continues to accept donations to keep this program going.