‘I love my country’: Veterans, Gov. Cox focus on service, honoring military on Memorial Day

May 27, 2024, 6:30 PM

gov cox speaks during memorial day event...

Gov. Spencer J. Cox gives remarks during the Memorial Day commemoration at the Utah Capitol Building in Salt Lake City on Monday, May 27, 2024. (Marielle Scott/Deseret News)

(Marielle Scott/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Memorial Day isn’t just about picnics, relaxation and sun for John Jackman.

Significantly, it brings to mind military comrades who have died while serving the United States, the focus of the day, and generates a tinge of sorrow. “I’m still torn up that I’m here and they’re there,” he said.

Related: In time for Memorial Day, volunteers plant flags to honor fallen Utah veterans

It also reinforces his sentiments toward the United States and the importance of serving the country.

“The most important thing I can tell you is I love my country,” said the U.S. Air Force and Vietnam War veteran. “I love my country.”

Jackman and maybe 200 others gathered Monday at the Utah Capitol in Salt Lake for a ceremony to mark Memorial Day, with Gov. Spencer Cox — the main speaker — offering a message similar to Jackman’s focused on the importance of service.

Cox lauded the service of those who have died fighting for the nation, noting the story of four Borgstrom brothers from Thatcher in Box Elder County. Four of five military-age brothers in the family died within six months of each other in 1944 while serving in the war, and Cox took part in a Memorial Day ceremony earlier Monday in Tremonton, near Thatcher, focusing on them.

Read more about Gov. Cox and others’ Memorial Day comments on KSL.com

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‘I love my country’: Veterans, Gov. Cox focus on service, honoring military on Memorial Day