SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah leaders, veterans, and citizens all gathered at Capitol Hill to hear music from the 23rd Army Band as part of a Memorial Day Ceremony this morning, May 29.

“Today we gather to honor and remember the brave men and women who gave their lives in defense of our nation, its people, and the freedoms we all enjoy today,” said Cory Pearson, the Utah Department of Veteran and Military Affairs Deputy Director.  

Set on the south stairs of the Capitol Building, a collection of flags, flowers, and ribbons surrounded the area as members of the Utah government took a few moments to address the crowd.

“There’s a sense of patriotism that we all have as Americans but there’s an elevated element to that when you’ve had a chance to serve,” said Representative Blake Moore.

Moore continued by sharing his own experiences with the military while emphasizing the importance of honoring the lives lost and remembering what their sacrifice provides to those who were left behind.

That is absolutely what this day is about but what was impressed upon me is what our nation has accomplished over 100 years,” said Moore. “My dad can freely go to Vietnam. A place he never thought he would visit.”

The ceremony finished with Governor Cox who says that today, and every day, our country needs brave men and women defending our home but to remember those who already gave so much.

To protect that sacred idea that we are endowed by our creator with unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” said Cox. “And so today, today we pay tribute to those men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect and promote that radical idea.”