Veterans honored during special ceremony at the University of Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4)- As part of the 24th annual Veteran’s Day Commemoration Ceremony, the University of Utah honored 11 veterans and awarded the Student Veteran of the Year at the A. Ray Olpin Union Building ballroom.

The ceremony is one of a series of events honoring veterans. The university also hosted a movie night, a student-sponsored bowling event, and a virtual presentation on identifying America’s unknown soldiers using evolving DNA technologies, and a student-sponsored bowling tournament.

Veteran’s Day in-person celebrations were put on hold in 2020 due to restrictions caused by the pandemic. Honorees from last year’s events were invited to take part in this year’s events. 

“This year’s ceremony has been doubly rewarding for the campus because we were able to honor both the 2021 and 2020 honorees in person,” U of U Veterans Support Center Director Paul Morgan says. “These honorees provide extraordinary examples of the American spirit that emerges in challenging times.”

Gov. Spencer Cox and Sen. Mitt Romney gave remarks during the program. They gave thanks to servicemen and women from all branches of service and of all conflicts.

Alex Penegar, a Kinesiology student graduating in December, was awarded Student Veteran of the Year for his achievements in class as well as his volunteer work on and off-campus. 

Utah Athletics will recognize servicemen and women from all branches of service at a special halftime show during the Utah vs. Oregon football game at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 20.

Utah Football will highlight the history of the forgotten USS Salt Lake City during the game. Specially crafted uniforms for the game will feature distinctive camouflage design from the warship, which earned 11 battle stars in the course of its service. 

A complete list of the honorees and their stories can be found here.

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