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Draper Journal

Courage was the theme of Veterans Day ceremony

Nov 18, 2019 01:40PM ● By Mimi Darley Dutton

Lorin Welker, who served as a chief warrant officer 4 in the Army and Army National Guard, stressed the importance of thanking military families for their sacrifice. (Mimi Darley Dutton/City Journals)

By Mimi Darley Dutton | [email protected]

On a crisp, sunny fall day, members of the community gathered to show gratitude and respect for Draper’s veterans and those of the entire nation at Draper Park. Parents brought their children, couples came with their dogs and generations of families sat together for the ceremony. Uniforms and hats indicating military membership dotted the crowd. 

Draper Parks and Recreation Director Rhett Ogden spoke about the importance of honoring veterans, Councilman Mike Green told of when he joined the Army National Guard on July 1, 2001 just two months before “everything changed” on Sept. 11. He told the veterans gathered, “We all continue to stand on your shoulders.” And Mayor Troy Walker addressed the crowd as the son of a soldier and a father to two sons in the service. “My father had three bronze stars, all for valor. I didn’t know that about my dad until he was in his casket. I wish I could have discussed that with him in the day,” he said. 

Walker closed his remarks by reading a prayer requested by General George Patton for good weather that included the words, “grant us fair weather for battle…that we may advance from victory to victory and establish justice.” 

Among the many veterans gathered at the ceremony was Lorin Welker, who served in the Army and the Army National Guard. He proudly showed two of his dad’s medals from World War II along with those he had earned himself, all of which were pinned to his uniform. “Be sure to thank the families. Families suffer along with the veterans,” Welker said. 

And Draper resident Charles Keller, a World War II veteran who served in the 95th Infantry Division at the Battle of Metz, France, was present at the ceremony and got a standing ovation. All the veterans present gathered for a group photo following the ceremony and many wanted to shake Keller’s hand. Keller will turn 98 this November. 

“There are amazing veterans in Draper…my hat is off to you,” Walker said.