SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Musicians, media, military members, and more gathered to watch elected officials make important promises to the public, Wednesday.
It was all part of The State of Utah Inaugural Ceremony.
Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert and the state’s constitutional officers technically took the oath of office on Monday, but because it was a holiday, they decided to hold off until later for the celebration, and a celebration it was.
A full house and packed program ushered in the next four years of Utah politics.
The inauguration kicked off with the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, led by who Governor Herbert calls a ‘modern Utah pioneer.’ Yar Kuany Awan is a refugee-turned-American-citizen, who the Governor publicly commended after taking his oath of office.
And he was not the only one swearing to serve to the best of his abilities. Utah State Auditor John Dougall, State Treasurer David Damschen, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, and Lt. Governor Spencer Cox all took their turns as well, as Chief Justice Matthew Durrant administered the oath.
After a handful of patriotic performances from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Brigham Young University’s Vocal Point, Utah’s 17th governor once again gave his inaugural address, saying he is proud to serve such service-oriented people.
“I thank you for how you exemplify Utah spirit in your daily lives,” Herbert said.
The Governor shared stories from his childhood and talked about the selfless, help-your-neighbor attitudes people of the Beehive State share — even referencing an ABC 4 Utah report from last May, when Good 4 Utah’s Ali Monsen reported how 85 year-old Dewain Jenkins jumped into action, after major windstorms tore through his community.
“Dewain told an enquiring reporter, ‘I just heard they needed some help, so here I am.’ Such is the Utah spirit,” he said.
The inaugural ceremony ended as the crowd followed Governor Herbert and the First Lady outside to start off the next chapter of Utah history’s with a bang — or traditional 19-gun salute.
By the time Governor Herbert’s term is over in 2021, he will have served 11 years and about 5 months, making him the second-longest serving governor in Utah history.