Veterans and their families gathered at the State Capitol Wednesday to be honored in a special ceremony.
The 23rd Army band played prelude music and the traditional medley of armed forces anthems for the dozens of veterans sitting in the capitol rotunda with their friends and families. Governor Gary Herbert spoke at the ceremony, thanking the veterans for their service - particularly veterans of World War II, who are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the end of the war this year.
“They came on the ground, they came in the air, and they came on the sea,” he said. “And from all walks of life, coming together to, in fact, defend our constitution and our freedoms. And also to liberate and free others from oppression.”
Herbert himself served six years in the Utah National Guard. He said although it can be hard to talk about, he hopes all veterans get the chance to share their experiences with others.
“It’s important that that message and that story is passed down to your family, so they have an understanding and appreciation for the service and the sacrifice that Americans went through,” he said.
Utah is home to about one hundred fifty thousand veterans.