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Utahns pay tribute to war veterans



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Taps, color guards and the American flag were part of Memorial Day ceremonies held all over the state Monday.

At Fort Douglas, flags flew next to gravestones and heads bowed in a moment of silence. It was a similar scene at Camp Williams.

The ceremonies carried a simple message.

Utahns pay tribute to war veterans

Sen. Michael Waddoups, (R) District 6, said, "Thanks for the service you gave. Thanks for the military men and women that did it for their children, for their spouses, for those of us still here in this country."

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who've died in service to their country, service that for some is hard to forget no matter how many years pass.

William E. Christoffersen of the Utah chapter of the American Legion said, "It's one of those things that a lot of people only remember one day a year. But those of us who have served, we remember it every day, a lot of times, more than every day."

In Provo, a band played "America the Beautiful" as flags lined gravestones of those who've served.

Sen. Waddoups said, "I worry sometimes that we think too much about the barbecue or going boating or the sale at the furniture store, and not enough about the real reason we're decorating the graves of veterans."

Maj. Gen. William Creer
Maj. Gen. William Creer

It was a somber day as politicians, members of the media and family members paid tribute to those who've died in battle. But in some cases it's also been a celebration.

At Hill Air Force Base, a ceremony was held for a Maj. Gen. William Creer, who commanded bombing raids in World War II. Monday he was inducted into the Utah Aviation Hall of Fame. His daughter says Memorial Day is a fitting reminder of what so many fought, and in some cases died for.

At Pioneer Park, volunteers put an extra twist on Memorial Day by giving to those who are homeless. The Salt Lake City Mission handed out free hot dogs, baked beans, nachos and clothing. But they, too, paused to honor fallen soldiers as so many did Monday across the state.

E-mail: lprichard@ksl.com

Lori Prichard

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