Utahns gathered at cemeteries across the state today to visit the graves of passed love ones and honor those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Veterans of the armed forces stood and sang along as a small brass band played the anthems of each military branch. A group of more than 100 people attended the Memorial Day service at the Larkin Sunset Gardens Cemetery in Sandy. Brigadier General Dallen Atack, who is the Assistant Adjutant General of the Utah National Guard, and Utah Senator Orrin Hatch also attended the service. Hatch, who lost a brother in World War II, thanked those who put their lives in danger to create and protect our nation.
“Our founders created the greatest nation in the history of the world," he says. "I don’t want to lose it and as long as we have great people like you we’re not going to. There are far too many people who have died for you and me.”
General Atack reminded those gathered that while today is a day to honor the brave men and women of the armed services, it doesn’t take a uniform to be a patriot.
“There are many patriots that have never worn the uniform, but they still serve," he says. "I think that is an obligation of all patriots that they serve. They may serve as family members or in the case of the National Guard and Reserves as employers.”
After a brief moment of silence, the Utah National Guard Military Funeral Honors Team concluded the services with one final tribute: A three round volley and the playing of TAPS.