By Katie Foutz
Provo residents gathered Monday to honor deceased military veterans.
“We hope to have renewed their love of freedom,” said Lauri Updike, chair of the Freedom Forum Series.
“We want them to return home and infuse that gratitude into their homes and then communities,” she said.
At the Memorial Day service, held at the Provo Tabernacle, the winners of this year’s Freedom Festival Essay Contest were recognized and read their winning essays.
Seth Webster, a second grade student from Alpine Elementary, said, “In America we have lots of freedoms. One thing we can do is travel.”
“Some people in other countries can’t just go where they want to go because their governments won’t let them, or maybe there are some people who are not alike and so people who are not alike might try to hurt them,” he said.
Chelsea Robinson, Scott Hill and Natalie Lewis also read essays and were awarded scholarships.
“It’s nice to see kids from the community participate on a patriotic level and be rewarded for that participation,” said Tammy Johnson, a Provo resident.
The featured speaker of the event was Scott Bradley, director of telecommunications for Utah State University, and co-founder of the Constitutional Commemoration Foundation.
He spoke on the importance of appreciating war veterans.
“They paid the price; we enjoy the benefits,” he said.
Bradley quoted President J. Reuben Clark, who said, “The price of liberty is blood-human blood.”
“The price of liberty is not paid once, and then enjoyed thereafter,” said Bradley.
“Freedom is not free … let us pray that if again called to war, brave souls, righteous souls, will rise to the challenge,” he said.
There is much debate in America today over the moral justifications of war, said Bradley. But that should not detract from the personal sacrifices made by those involved.
“They are no less real, no less sanctified,” he said.
At the service, those in attendance also enjoyed music from Triple Take, a local group, and brass music from a BYU alumni band.
George Cavanaugh, a North Ogden re-enactor, portrayed Patrick Henry. Also, “Indie,” (short for Independence) a giant eagle mascot, was on hand to entertain the children.