The University of Utah held their 16th annual Veterans Day Celebration today. A series of events throughout the day commemorated veterans, past and present. Eleven Utah veterans received a medallion to honor their individual service.
Bagpipes opened the awards ceremony that began at 11 a.m. Monday in remembrance of the armistice that ended World War I at the same time 96 years ago. Eleven Utahns who served during World War II, the Korean and Vietnam wars were honored. John Edwards, Utah’s Civilian Aid to the Secretary of the Army and Veterans Day Committee Member recognized the veterans.
"If you just read some of what they had to go through, I mean forget if they, you know, won silver stars or medals of honors. Just being in combat, just being shot at, it’s a hellacious experience, and they do need to be recognized," Edwards says.
Spencer Felt served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was shot down over German occupied Poland in December 1944, and endured a three month journey back to safety. Felt is 89 years old and says those memories are still there.
"They’re constantly with me really. It had a big effect on my life, and actually a positive effect," Felt says.
Maxine Conder inspired military women when she became the second female Admiral in history in 1975. She took charge of 2600 Navy nurses around the world for four years. She says she was surprised and honored by the award.
"I just thought my days were over, you know, and they located me and said ‘no, we want you to be involved,’ so here I am," Conder Says.
A 21 gun salute signaled the end of the ceremony.