Utahns, deploying soldiers pay tribute to service men and women


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RIVERTON -- Utah National Guard soldiers preparing to deploy to Iraq are among the Utahns paying tribute to service men and women on this Memorial Day.

Nearly 300 members of the Utah National Guard's 141st Military Intelligence Battalion gathered for a memorial ceremony at Utah Veterans Memorial Park at Camp Williams Monday morning. Many said they have a deeper appreciation for the holiday because of their upcoming deployment.

One attendee, Staff Sgt. Bryan Lennon, said, "All of us out here, we volunteer to do this and we're very happy to be doing it."

Lennon is a member of the 141st Military Intelligence Battalion. He is preparing for his first deployment to Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Bryan Lennon
Staff Sgt. Bryan Lennon

"We've been training for so long to be able to go out there and do it. It's a good feeling," he said.

The soldiers took a short break from their pre-deployment training Monday for the special memorial ceremony. A gun salute and the playing of Taps paid tribute to airmen, Marines, sailors and soldiers who have served and will serve their country.

Lt. Col. Matt Price said, "The real meaning of Memorial Day is we're grateful for America. We're grateful for forefathers, and that's why we serve."

The 141st will deploy to Iraq at the end of June. Its year-long mission will support and advise Iraqi security forces.

As the soldiers reflect on those who have given their lives in service, other Utahns also paid tribute to loved ones with flowers and flags.

At the Redwood Cemetery in West Jordan, Anita Evans placed flags in remembrance of her brother, a Vietnam veteran, and her father who served in the Pacific theater in World War II.

"You can't say the importance. You can't express the importance (of what) they do for us," she said.

Other Memorial Day events include:

  • Lindon City Cemetery
    550 North 200 East, Lindon
    8 a.m. - 9 a.m.
    Ceremony and flag raising
  • Larkin Sunset Gardens Cemetery
    1950 E. 10600 South, Sandy
    10 a.m.
    Program includes color guard, Utah National Guard, Congressman Jim Matheson
  • Utah State Veterans Cemetery and Memorial Park
    17111 S. Camp Williams Road, Riverton
    11:30 a.m.
    Department of Veterans Affairs Memorial Day program with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Sen. Orrin Hatch
  • West Jordan Veterans Memorial Park
    1985 W. 7800 South, West Jordan
    1 p.m.
    Doug Wright emcees the Memorial Day tribute

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Story compiled with information from Anne Forester and Nkoyo Iyamba .

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