CEDAR CITY – As National Police Week comes to an end, two Enoch boys worked Saturday afternoon alongside their dads to begin their Eagle Scout Project that will benefit law enforcement throughout the state – a memorial for Utah police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.
Haden Adams, 13, and Lincoln Paul, 14, worked for hours Saturday afternoon removing several bricks surrounding what is now nothing more than a mound of dirt with a dated flagpole in the middle. Next week, a backhoe will level the dirt.
To complete this first phase of the project, the boys will need to lay concrete for the base of the memorial, something they’re hoping they can find and schedule immediately.
The boys’ efforts are the first steps in preparing the site for a first responders’ memorial that is likely to take several months and cost tens of thousands of dollars to complete.
“This is probably going to take us about six months and cost, and this is a modest estimate, about $10,000 to $15,000 with the cost of the infrastructure for the memorial and the cost of the new flagpole,” Darin Adams said. “Our goal is to have the project complete, minus the names, by the first of November. Now we’re hoping to have it finished sooner but a lot of that is going to depend on funding.”
When finished, the memorial will hold the names of Utah fallen heroes including both police officers and firefighters.
The boys have divided the project between them with Lincoln Paul responsible for the firefighter section and Haden Adams in charge of law enforcement. The boys’ dads Darin Adams and Ryan Paul are both helping to oversee the project.
“This is a massive project. A lot of Eagle Scout projects are not this big,” Cedar City Police Chief Darin Adams said. “That’s why we couldn’t let only one boy tackle it. We had to have two. So, we got permission to let both of them work on it with each one having their own parts.”
The memorial is the boys’ Eagle Scout project but, Paul Ryan said, the memorial is also a “community project.”
Along those lines, Haden Adams and Lincoln Paul said they want the community to know what they are doing.
“I want people to know we are honoring those who have died protecting us,” Lincoln Paul said.
While the memorial honors the officers’ sacrifice it also pays tribute to their lives, Ryan Paul said.
“If we walk around here, we see the markers that list the year born and the year died but that’s just mechanics,” Ryan Paul said. “It’s the dash in the middle that matters. And that’s why I think this is important is because it really honors the story of these people. And what better place to do it than this place – a cemetery – a place that is built on human stories.”
For the chief, this project is deeply personal.
“The memorial has been something, especially on the police side, that’s been a dream of mine for years,” Darin Adams said. “So, it was interesting I got this call a few months ago from the sexton of the cemetery asking me if we wanted this flagpole because they didn’t use it and they didn’t use the area it was in. As you can see, it’s not very well cared for it’s just this lump of dirt. And I thought that’s it. That’s the Lord speaking to me saying ‘the time has come.’ We have a place in the middle of a very appropriate spot to do that, to do just that. And as I talked to (Cedar City Fire Chief) Mike Phillips and have become closer and really become more of a team, I knew we needed to do this together to honor all public safety and it just all fell together.”
Since the project is going to take quite a bit of money to complete, Haden Adams and Lincoln Paul plan on doing fundraisers along the way. One of these is selling bricks that will make up a walkway to the memorial. The bricks will have the donor’s names etched into them.
Besides financial contributions, the boys could also use supplies and labor donations including the concrete needed immediately for the memorial’s base.
If interested in donating to the memorial or helping with supplies and labor contact Chief Darin Adams at Cedar City Police Department: Telephone 435-586-2956.
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