How much time has to pass before it’s too late to memorialize our loved ones? I came across this inspirational story while reading the Salt Lake Tribune, which demonstrates that it’s never too late and illustrates the importance of remembering our lost love ones, no matter how much time has passed. This is a kind-hearted tale of a young man making it his mission to remember six young children from 66 years earlier.

Alex Jenkins, a fifteen year old boy from Utah has made it his Eagle Scout Project to construct a sign memorializing the six children who lost their lives in a car-train accident in 1947, in Kaysville, UT.

For his Eagle Scout Project, Jenkins did fundraisers to raise enough money to purchase the sign and install it. Alex raised $1500 by wrapping Christmas gifts and gathering donations. Having a brother who is an Eagle Scout, I am well aware of the hard work and dedication it takes to obtain and belong to this elite club.

Alex Jenkins got the idea to put up a memorial sign when his mother, Sherri Jenkins, was researching famous people from Kaysville and found information on the 1947 accident. He wanted to recognize the children and have their memory live on.

On March 21, 1947,  Harold Rice Barnes, 14; Sterling Dee Barnes, 10; David Rulon Barnes, 6; David Sandall, 13; Carol Lee Preslar, 11; and Jo Ann Webster, 10, all passed away as a result of the collision.

After suffering the unimaginable, brave parents turned their horrible tragedy into a positive, while benefitting children in their community.  Rulon and Emily Barnes, who lost their three sons in the accident that also claimed the life of three other children, left their legacy, Barnes Park, a place where children can play and be safe

Rulon and Emily Barnes donated nearly 30 acres of land to create a memorial park, a place where children can have fun and play safely. These heartbroken parents are a true inspiration one that demonstrates their love and passion for their children as well as all other children.  Emily and Rulon Barnes centered their life around children and were heavily involved in church as well as the community.

Alex Jenkins wanted to tell the Barnes Park story so the Jenkins family contacted the Barnes’ Family and the project began.  Photographs of the children were obtained to put on the sign. Alex Jenkins provided the money and two Kaysville Parks and Recreation employees, Becky Argyle and Tracy Murray, designed the sign.      barnes sign

This sign recognizing their contribution and memorializing the children who lost their lives was placed in the Kaysville Park on July 17, 2013. The sign says, in part: “Barnes Memorial Park is the fulfillment of Rulon and Emily’s desire for a safe place for children and families to play.”

Over the years, the park has grown to 45 acres and includes a large playground, sand volleyball courts and softball fields. What a powerful tribute to these children and families.  No matter how much time has passed, these are the little lives that impact the rest of the world and will forever be remembered.

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