SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Spencer Cox issued a declaration Sunday to honor and recognize those who died serving in the United States military.
“For more than 150 years, we have set aside this day to pay tribute and honor the thousands of men and women who gave their lives in defense of this country,” Cox said in a video also posted Sunday. "I encourage every Utahn to honor the legacy of those who did not return by caring for those who are still with us now."
The State is holding a Memorial Day ceremony on the South Lawn of the Utah State Capitol complex Monday at 10 a.m. Those who died in the service will be honored, as well as veterans from Utah who passed away over this past year. Many of them were unable to receive proper final honors and recognition eue to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I also want to take a moment to acknowledge the families of veterans and service members who passed away during the pandemic,” Cox said. “Many were unable to receive the traditional military honors and recognition for their service because of restrictions during the pandemic. Our thoughts are with their families as well, and we also recognize that this year has been particularly difficult for these veterans’ families.”
The full declaration reads:
"Whereas, the citizens of Utah are proud of the patriotic duty and selfless service of all of those who serve in the Armed Forces of the United States, and are united in gratitude for the sacrifices of these brave men and women;
"Whereas, throughout our state’s history, tens of thousands of Utahns have answered the call to serve, never wavering in the face of crisis and those still in uniform continue to bravely face challenges protecting the American people;
"Whereas, Utahns have proudly served in the active services, the Reserve and the National Guard, while wearing the uniforms of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, as well as Department of Defense Civilians;
"Whereas, Utahns have valiantly served in combat during the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, in Afghanistan, during Operation Iraqi Freedom and other conflicts around the world where military members put their lives on the line;
"Whereas approximately 3,000 military members from Utah have bravely made the ultimate sacrifice in service of others since World War I;
"Whereas, 2021 marks the 76th anniversary of the Allied victory in World War II, a war where more than 1,500 Utahns sacrificed their lives in service to our nation;
"Whereas, on Memorial Day, we humbly honor the thousands of men and women who marched, flew and sailed in defense of nation, never to see their loved ones again;
"Whereas, with enduring respect and gratitude for their total sacrifice to ensure our freedoms and liberty and way of life, we commit to uphold the principles for which they laid down their lives;
"Whereas, it is the responsibility of all Utahns to remember these courageous warriors throughout the year and strive to ensure their sacrifice was not in vain and to comfort the families they have left behind;
"Whereas, I call upon all Utahns to observe Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and ask that all Utahns come together for a shared moment of silence at 3:00 P.M. to reflect on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice;
"Whereas, I direct the flag to be flown at half-staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all government buildings and grounds throughout Utah; and,
"Whereas, I request the people of Utah display the flag at half-staff at their homes and places of business for the customary forenoon period;
"Now, Therefore, I, Spencer, J. Cox, governor of the great State of Utah, do hereby declare May 31, 2021 as Memorial Day in Utah."