SANDY, Utah – For nearly the past two decades, Larkin Mortuary has invited the community to join them in giving military members, past and present, the royal treatment on Memorial Day.
Throughout the day, people streamed into Larkin Mortuary in Sandy to pay respects to those they’ve lost. Folks could also honor military men and women who’ve defended our country or are still serving.
Dozens of family, friends and community members turned out to a Memorial Day ceremony to show their appreciation.
Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, paid his respects.
“Together we salute and thank all who have defended our country and our liberty so valiantly and so selflessly over so many generations,” Christensen said.
Lt. Colonel Chanda Ian Mofu, a member of the Army ROTC and a BYU professor of military science also spoke at the ceremony.
“We as veterans and those who have had family members who have fallen, we need to tell our story,” Mofu said.
George Gray served in the Vietnam War on Memorial Day. He reflected on those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“I think about the young kids who died. They are forever young. We’re old soldiers. We survived. They didn’t,” Gray said.
Perhaps the most touching moment of the ceremony was when military branch anthems were sung. Veterans stood as the crowd cheered.
Trish Maakestead and her service dog Millie gave the ceremony a thumbs up.
After serving in the Air National Guard for 25 years, Millie helps Maakestead manage PTSD.
Support like what she witnessed today at the ceremony, also helps.
“It makes me realize how lucky I am to come home. You can’t see my wounds but there are other people that you can see their wounds,” Maakestead said.
Another detail Larkin added to mark the occasion, they decorated the grounds with 3,000 American flags with help from youth in the area.