Herbert Decries "Diluted" Memorial Day

Herbert Decries "Diluted" Memorial Day

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Making Memorial Day a three-day weekend has not been good for remembering veterans, said Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert.

"In a way, it's diluted this day," Herbert told a small group gathered at the Utah Veterans Memorial Cemetery Monday. "We've got many Utahns and Americans that are recreating this weekend."

He said those not honoring the war dead may not realize that their recreational opportunity has "been given to us by the men and women who are serving in our military.

"We should not ever forget those that paid the ultimate sacrifice," Herbert said.

The 23rd Army Band Brass Quintet performed at the ceremony, and the program ended with Herbert and Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Salt Lake, placing a commemorative wreath at the cemetery grounds.

Matheson told the crowd that while many Americans will be enjoying summer fun, others will be fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.

There are those who aren't looking forward to "backyard barbecues or softball games but scorching desert sand," said Matheson, who read the names of several Utahns recently killed in action.

State Division of Veterans Affairs Director Terry Schow took notice of the children in the crowd.

He said it was important to instill a respect for veterans in the very young.

Children need to understand that many of the freedoms and liberties they enjoy were bought with a price.

"It's important to teach our children these traditions," he said.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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