Veterans Day 2020: Honoring service members during a ‘challenging year’

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – It was a Veterans Day like no other around the state of Utah as numerous ceremonies were held to honor our nation’s service members both in-person and virtually because of the pandemic.

The 65th Annual Utah National Guard Veterans Day Concert featuring the 23rd Army Band had an online-only audience today because of COVID-19.

“I wish we could be together in person and enjoy this concert,” Brigadier General Daniel Boyack of the Utah Air National Guard said. “It’s been a challenging year. For all the veterans watching, wherever you are, we love you and pray that you are safe and healthy during this pandemic and look forward to when we can be together again soon.”

People did gather in person Wednesday morning for the small, socially-distanced dedication of a new Veterans Park in Bountiful, commemorating service members from South Davis County.

“We feel, as most of us do in the community, a sense of patriotism, gratitude for our veterans and for our freedoms and liberties that we all enjoy,” Eric Hattabaugh of the Bountiful Veterans Park Committee told ABC4 News. “We just wanted to bring something to our community that would be a standard for that.”

Meanwhile, in Salt Lake City, the Utah Pride Center unveiled and raised a new flag designed to honor LGBT+ veterans, some of whom experienced discrimination while serving in the armed forces.

“A lot of people, I think, want to support our troops but I think a lot of times LGBT veterans are sort of forgotten in that mix,” Debbie Hall of the Utah Pride Center said. “So it makes me feel very proud and very happy to be doing this today.”

That flag was designed by Utah Pride Center employees and they will give copies of it to local LGBTQ+ veterans.

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