Veteran calls on Murray to remember Flag Day
Jun 04, 2019 03:23PM
● By Shaun Delliskave
Martin “Marty” Smart hopes that people remember our national colors on Flag Day. (Photo courtesy Lynda Brown)
By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
If you have walked along the Jordan River Parkway or dropped your kids off at the Boys & Girls Club in Murray, then you can thank Martin “Marty” Lynn Smart for helping those get started. However, it is honoring the freedoms that the flag represents that Smart hopes we all remember.
“At every opportunity, we should salute the flag and make it an honorable thing for everyone to do. We should be doing that all the time. We have slipped some, over time, as a country and don’t do it as much now, but we should salute it every chance we get,” Smart said.
The octogenarian has spent a lifetime serving his country and community and was instilled with a deep sense of patriotism when he was a boy. One of his earliest memories is of visiting the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll when his family lived in Washington, D.C. He remembers seeing First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt coming out on the White House grounds and greeting everyone, and President Franklin Roosevelt, seated in a wheelchair, waving to everyone from the balcony.
Experiences like these instilled in him the desire to serve his country, and when his family moved to Utah, he and his friends started a club called the United States Marine Corp Boys Reserve. Little did he know that his country would call him up to serve in a more official capacity.
Also, as a boy, he was fortunate to have several teachers who influenced his decision to become an engineer. One of his math teachers, an inventor by the name of Philo Farnsworth, taught Smart that he could love math. He also talked to Smart about his ideas for television.
In 1949, Smart attended Snow College on a football scholarship. Not long after that, the Korean War broke out. Someone he knew said that, to avoid getting drafted, he and his friends should join the Army Reserve; so Smart joined the reserve while at Snow College. The next thing he knew, he was called to active duty. The Army did let him finish the second football season and didn’t require him to go to basic training. While Smart, to this day, does not often talk about his combat experience, he developed a more profound love for the flag during his service.
After the Korean War, Smart settled in Murray and began to look for ways to serve his home town. “I am most proud of my involvement in making the Murray South Valley Boys & Girls Club become a reality. It was built with the hard work and labor of the Elks Club, who found the funds and manpower to build the original club building. I was part of the laying of the foundation.”
While helping out at the Boys & Girls Club, he got to know Lynn Pett. When Pett became mayor, he asked Smart for his help on a project he was developing along the Jordan River.
“I especially remember going down the Jordan River with the mayor and determining where the pedestrian overpasses would be placed as the Parkway was being developed,” he said.
Smart also led the drive to create a Flag Day celebration in Murray and develop a program honoring veterans on Veterans Day. For his service, Pett presented Smart with the Citizen of the Year Award.
“I guess it was because of my service to the City. I spent many, many days doing things for Murray City, including the Boys & Girls Club,” Smart said. “It seems like I was the one doing all the volunteer work and I guess they saw that and rewarded me with the award.”