SunRiver honors veterans in morning ceremony

ST. GEORGE — SunRiver St. George honored its resident veterans and those in the broader community with song, stories and commemoration in a touching ceremony Wednesday morning.

A Navy trainer jet makes a pass over the crowd at SunRiver, St. George, Utah, Nov. 11, 2015 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News
A Navy trainer jet makes a pass over the crowd at SunRiver, St. George, Utah, Nov. 11, 2015 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News

Flags were raised, guns were fired, and a Navy trainer jet made several low passes over SunRiver’s Veterans Honor Park. Approximately 300 people turned out for the event to celebrate veterans and their service to the United States.

President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as Armistice Day in 1919, commemorating the end of World War I at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918. The event expanded into Veterans Day to honor all veterans in 1947, following World War II.

Veterans of all branches of the service were present at SunRiver, including those from as far back as World War II. Several were in full-dress uniform, including Bryan Butas, who served as a Marine from 1989-1993, seeing action in Iraq, Yugoslavia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Bryan Buris at SunRiver, St. George, Utah, Nov. 11, 2015 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News
Bryan Butas at SunRiver, St. George, Utah, Nov. 11, 2015 | Photo by Ric Wayman, St. George News

“What is Veterans Day? It means freedom,” Butis said. “It means our country as it is today.”

St. George Mayor Jon Pike spoke as part of the program.

“(It’s) just a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and thank our veterans,” Pike said.

Veterans and others attending said they were impressed with the program.

“It brings back a lot of memories,” said U.S. Navy veteran Harold Platt, of St. George, who served in the Pacific theater in World War II. “They had (an) aircraft carrier service unit there (in Guam), and we were training pilots.”

The most common phrase heard after the ceremony was: “Thank you. Thank you for your service.”

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Email: rwayman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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