“It’s really touching and emotional. I am grateful for those who served in the military,” said Desiree Harris as she sat by her father's grave.
Julie Slack's father is buried next to Desiree's father. The two women talked quietly together during Memorial Day as they reflected back on the service their father's gave to defend freedom during World War II.
“He had to save a lot of women and children,” Slack said of her father. She said he was pulled from Brighton High School to fight.
“I don’t know that I have adequate enough words, but my father loved the flag and he loved this country very much,” said Slack.
Today she remembers the time he sacrificed early in his life to protect freedom from tyranny.
Slack’s father served in the Pacific during WWII along with the Japanese American men honored at the Bluffdale Cemetery. They were placed in U.S. Concentration camps before proving their loyalty to the Constitution of the United States. A plaque bearing their names was unveiled at the Utah Veterans Cemetery on May 27.
“It’s quiet humble to be honored like this by the people,” said Masaru Horiuchi.
He served the United States during World War II by interrogating captured Japanese soldiers. Today he looks back with a heavy heart. “War is terrible and men should live in peace,” said Horiuchi.
On Memorial Day when we honor men and women who died serving the United States—veterans like Horiuchi and civilians like Slack are reflecting on the past and thinking about the future.
“I just hope that our young children growing up today will understand how precious this freedom is that we have. Again I’m just proud of my papa. I love him I miss him, but I’m glad that he had the opportunity to serve,” Slack said.