IVINS, Utah – Veterans and their families gathered at the Southern Utah Veteran’s Home Wednesday to celebrate the service of veterans past, present and future.
Local school children played anthems, and speakers shared words of gratitude. Dixie State University ROTC instructor Major Justin Smith spoke to the veterans, saying every soldier has a story, and each one deserves to be remembered.
“Every veteran has done their part,” Smith said. “A lot of times we think as veterans there’s always something we could have done more, but they really do deserve the accolades they get.”
Among those stories in the audience was Vietnam War veteran Gil Mullen. He said the feelings of war are still just as vivid, but he’s proud of the time he gave for his country.
“I’ll never forget as long as I live the feelings I had when that stuff was coming in on us,” Mullen said. “Nobody really wants to have to do that, put themselves on the line like that, but somebody’s got to do it.”
Mullen said he felt the gratitude of the community at Wednesday’s ceremony. It’s something that’s humbling to him, validation the fighting he and other veterans did is appreciated.
“I’m just thankful,” Mullen said. “And I love this country. And I would lay down my life for it.”
The Southern Utah Veteran’s Home houses approximately 100 veterans and their spouses. Organizers say it’s an honor to help give them Veterans Day, every day.