SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A vigil was held at the Utah State Capitol to honor the service and sacrifice of a Utah marine killed in last week’s deadly blast in Afghanistan Sunday night.
Hundreds of people showed their support to Sgt. Staff Taylor Hoover and his family, including Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, who said they will never forget him.
“Tonight, our hearts break with yours,” the Governor said. “My job, on behalf of the 3.3 million Utahns is to thank you and your son and brother, fiancé, friend, for his sacrifice to protect us.”
Gov. Cox continued to say he didn’t know the 31-year-old U.S. Marine, but in talking to family and reading comments online, he said Staff Sgt. Hoover is an example of loyalty, love, friendship, courage, bravery, tough.
“The best way to describe Staff Sgt. Hoover is he was a U.S. Marine,” Gov. Cox said. “Because those are the words that describe the men and women who, for 20 years have stood on that wall and kept that hell from our doorstep. He went there, so it didn’t come here.”
The Governor said Staff Sgt. Hoover lived his life faithful and died faithful, and said throughout the war’s 20-year history, 28 Utahns have died “keeping those terrorists away from us”.
“We will never know how many lives they saved. But we will forever be grateful that they were willing to put themselves in harm’s way,” Gov. Cox said.
The Governor concluded his message saying Utahns must never forget Staff Sgt. Hoover’s sacrifice, as well as the other men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.