One flag, One life, A Million Thanks

364 U.S. flags on the west lawn of Utah's State Capitol, one flag for each of Utah's Vietnam War dead.

Three hundred and sixty-four flags posted before Utah’s State Capitol, one flag for each of Utah’s Vietnam War dead.

Utah remembers it’s heroes

On Armed Forces Day last Saturday, Utahns gathered at the State Capitol to honor Utahns who fought and who died on the battlefields of Vietnam.  This being the fiftieth anniversary year of the beginning of the Vietnam War, special recognition for Utah’s Vietnam veterans appeared both appropriate and needed. We talked about this in a previous post, Armed Forces Day at Utah’s Capitol.

Governor Gary Herbert spoke to those gathered in the Capitol’s rotunda before moving to the Gold Room, the Capitol’s formal reception room, where he signed legislation impacting Utah’s veteran community.  The first measure the Governor signed recognized 2013 as the fiftieth anniversary of the Vietnam War’s commencement.

After the legislation signing, the Governor joined hundreds of Utahns gathered around the Utah Vietnam Veterans Memorial located on the west lawn of the Capitol grounds where Colonial Flag Foundation had posted a formation of 364 U.S. flags to honor each Utahn killed in the Vietnam War.  The display echoed the day’s motto, “One flag, one life, a million thanks.”  Of course, it is not only the lives lost that we remember, but the impact each death had on family, associates and friends.  The sacrifice was great and far reaching.  After participants observed a moment of silence, taps sounded bringing the ceremony to a close.

Utah's service men and women return home greeted by a flag lined street.

Utah’s service men and women return home from deployment are often greeted by a street lined with the Stars & Stripes.

Honoring veterans is something Colonial Flag does regularly and not just through the Healing Field® and Field of Honor® flag display programs.  While these events scheduled all around the country each year, by themselves are significant, Colonial routinely assists families and friends of Utah’s returning service men and women by helping decorate streets with welcoming U.S. flags.  These occasions are happy when military members return home at the end of deployment to the embrace of family and friends.  At other somber times, the flag lined street honors Utahn who sacrificed their lives in the service of our nation.  The service and sacrifice of all these Utahns honors the flag, and the flag fittingly honors them in return.  Brave men and women have carried the flag into battle and the Stars & Stripes welcomes them on their return home.

Amid controversy and demonstrations, America’s veterans of the Vietnam War returned home without receiving the welcome and thanks traditionally given to the men and women who have served our nation in tie of war.  The gatherings at Utah’s Capitol and Vietnam Veterans Memorial aimed to correct that lapse.  Colonial Flag Company and Colonial Flag Foundation are working together to make sure that we, as a nation, do not repeat this error.  Whether the service was half a century ago in Southeast Asia or yesterday in the Mideast, the men and women who serve in our armed forces deserve our welcome and thanks.

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