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Layton City’s own Veterans Park
Veterans Day is Tuesday, Nov. 11 this year and Layton City residents would do well to consider a timely visit this fall to the City’s own “Veterans Park,” to honor the occasion.
Located between the north entrance to FrontRunner’s parking Lot and the Union Pacific Railroad Tracks, Layton’s Veterans Park sits between 155 West and 175 West Gentile Street, on the south side of the street.
This half-acre Layton park, still the City’s smallest park, was originally called "Railroad Park," from 1921-1991, because it was just east of the Union Pacific Railroad line.
The park is bordered by large trees, four of which were planted on Arbor Day, April 15, 1921, in honor of four Layton men who died in the Army during World War I -- David Day, David Lane Jones, Hubert H. Layton and William Clyde Layton. (One of those veteran trees was removed in 2008 during FrontRunner line construction and was replaced with a new tree.)
Plaques sit at the foot of each of the four trees, with the soldiers’ names inscribed on them.
The park was rededicated on Nov. 12, 1991 at Veterans Park in a ceremony attended by some 150 people.
Lyndia Graham, City Councilwoman at the time, was instrumental in the renaming and rededicating the park. Layton Elementary students provided the music for both past park dedications.
The 1991 ceremony's main speaker, historian and Layton resident Harris Adams, described the park then as "almost a sacred spot of ground." He said that when the park was created, Layton City was not yet created.
Adams also said that many soldiers and LDS Church missionaries from Layton left from the original train depot, located on the south end of where Veterans Park is now located.
Veterans Park is maintained by the Layton City Parks and Recreation Department but is owned by the Oregon Short Line/Union Pacific Railroad Corp.
Today Veterans Park includes three picnic tables, grass and other trees. It also features a large monument and plaques.
Parking to visit the park can usually be found at the north end of the FrontRunner parking area, or at Layton Elementary School.
-Veterans Day first originated as “Armistice Day,” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. The U.S. Congress approved a resolution in 1926 calling for its annual observance. But, it wasn’t until 1938 that it became a national holiday. It was in 1954 – 60 years ago – that President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation to change the name to Veterans Day, so that it would honor all those persons who served in American wars.
SOURCES: Veterans Park’s plaques, Deseret News Archives, www.census.gov