Veterans Day ceremony honors current and former military members
By Kelly Cannon | firstname.lastname@example.org
Draper City honored its veterans on Nov. 11 during a special Veterans Day at Summit Academy. The hour-long program included music and speeches given by both the mayor and a member of the Utah National Guard.
The program is put on by the Draper City Parks and Recreation Department.
“We realized we were lacking for a city celebration in Draper so the parks department decided to take it on and it’s gone on from there,” said Rhett Ogden, director of the Parks and Recreation Department.
Ogden said the program, which has always been at Summit Academy, is a fairly simple one.
“We’ve got a color guard by the police department and then we have professional band called the Letter Carrier Band,” Ogden said. “They’re going to play all the patriotic music and all the different hymns from the different branches of the military. Then we’ll have the veterans stand up and honor them.”
After a speech from a representative of the Utah National Guard and Mayor Troy Walker, there was a special musical number from local Draper residents that Ogden described as “spectacular.” The ceremony concluded with a special message distributed by the federal government to be read on Veterans Day. The whole program lasted only an hour.
“We try to be in and out within the hour for people who don’t want to take up the whole evening, but want to have a nice program and honor those who served in the wars,” Ogden said.
The program is still fairly new, only drawing about 200 people. Ogden said it is still in its building phase.
“We’re trying to get the word out more and encouraging people to come and try to build it every year,” Ogden said. “It’s by no means our biggest event or the most attended.”
Ogden express hope that the program makes Draper vets feel their service was valued by the city and the community at large.
“This is an opportunity for us and for the residents of the city to recognize them and let them know we appreciate them and thank them for their service,” Ogden said. “Hopefully they’ll leave feeling that. That’s the hope and the goal.”