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Cedar City came together tonight to mourn nine of its citizens and the pilot killed in a plane crash near the Moab airport last Friday.
Gov. Huntsman spoke at the memorial and said, for Cedar City, this loss is equivalent to the Crandall Canyon Mine disaster. Cedar City's mayor echoed similar thoughts. Mayor Gerald Sherratt said, "In more than three quarters of a century there has never been such a tragic event in Cedar City."
The choirs and orchestra of Southern Utah University performed for at least 2,000 people inside the Centrum Arena on the SUU campus. Behind the podium were the faces of the 10 citizens who lost their lives in last Friday's plane crash.
Among the speakers tonight were Dane Leavitt, whose company owned the plane, Elder Steven Snow from the LDS presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and Gov. Jon Huntsman.
Gov. Huntsman said, "There could be no better way to commemorate a very tragic set of circumstances. This is a healing environment that is being created tonight."
Elder Snow said, "There's a lot of people that are hurting right now, so I think this, in some measure, will be a source of comfort to the families."
Former Utah governor and Bush cabinet member Mike Leavitt is a Cedar City native and was also there tonight to honor the victims and their families.
Friends of the victims say that while it's tough to move on right now, these kinds of events bring the community one step closer to healing.