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Davis Journal

Governor honors ‘Fallen Warriors’ who gave their lives for freedom

Feb 27, 2023 09:16AM ● By Becky Ginos

Gov. Spencer Cox talks with two boys whose father was killed while serving in the military. The Governor met each family member before they went on the House and Senate floor where lawmakers also paid tribute.

SALT LAKE CITY—The Capitol Gold Room was filled last week with the family and friends of those who paid the ultimate price for this country’s freedom. The “Fallen Warriors” event was held to honor those who lost their lives in 2022. 

Family members, some holding pictures of their loved one, took turns introducing themselves and sharing the name of the service member who passed away. Gov. Spencer Cox spoke with each family member before they were escorted onto the House and Senate floor where lawmakers paid further tribute.

“I wish we didn’t have to meet like this,” said Maj. Gen. Michael (MG) Turley, Commander of The Utah National Guard. “We express our condolences and recognize them for all they have done for this country and state. You stood beside your service member in life and now in death. We honor you.”

It’s a privilege to host you, said Cox. “This is a difficult day for you. I hope you have good memories as we pay tribute to those who have gone before and recognize the people you loved so much.”

The Fallen Warriors and their family members are honored every year, he said. “I pray that next year this room is empty.”

Cox said he’s learned over the last couple of months from a book by author Arthur Brooks his thoughts on what makes people happy. “He studies happiness and what makes people happy and become better people.” 

Brooks said there are four things that matter most, faith, family, friendships and work that serves other people, Cox said. “There’s no greater service than joining the military and National Guard.” 

Those seeking happiness look for the meaning of life, he said. The question is, ‘Why are you here?’ ‘What are you willing to die for?’ Your own son who joined the military – he knew. Every single person who puts on the uniform is willing to die for us – you, me and fellow citizens of the country.”

It’s the ideal that everyone is created equal, said Cox. “Our freedoms come from on high. That’s what this country was founded on. The power resides in the people. Freedom, liberty and justice for all.”

Nothing will ever fill the void in your hearts, he said. “But we can honor the incredible people who put on the uniform and are willing to die for the 3.5 million Utahns. Thank you for your sacrifice of your family member. We love you. We honor you.”