A crowd of Parkites and others marked Memorial Day on Monday with a ceremony at the Park City Cemetery honoring the nation's fallen soldiers that was poignant at times and inspiring at other moments.
It was a traditional ceremony that was reminiscent of past ones organized by the Park City post of the American Legion. The morning event drew veterans, people who wanted to recall loved ones lost in wartime and a few politicians.
The vocal group the Treble Makers sang the National Anthem and Justin Martinez, a Summit County Sheriff's Office captain and a Coast Guard veteran, played the mournful notes of taps on a bugle.
The crowd included Rep. Kraig Powell, who represents the Park City area in the state House of Representatives, and Park City Councilwoman Liza Simpson. Dana Williams, the former three-term mayor of Park City, was at the event as well.
Donna McAleer, a Pinebrook resident and Army veteran who is the Democratic nominee in the 1st Congressional District, addressed the crowd for approximately three minutes in what was one of the longer set of remarks on Monday.
Many of the graves were decorated for Memorial Day as people seemed to reflect while walking slowly through the cemetery. Small American flags were planted next to many of the gravestones. The main flag at the cemetery was lowered to half-staff for part of the day. Martinez stood close to the half-staff flag as he played taps.
Speakers included Glenn Wright, a Vietnam War veteran who is a member of the leadership of the Park City post of the American Legion. He recalled watching television with his niece nearly a decade ago when she asked why veterans were seen crying as the national anthem played.
Sally Rajamaki, who lives in the Snyderville Basin, was at the ceremony remembering a Marine who was killed in a plane crash in Iraq in 2005. He was the son of a close friend from Minnesota. She addressed the crowd as she spoke about Kelly C. Hinz.
"What a wonderful young man he was. A leader in our country," she said in an interview. "How much potential to be taken too soon."
She also said she wanted people to understand the meaning of Memorial Day.
"That's the biggest fear. That they'll forget the lost, the fallen," she said.
In an interview, Powell spoke about the "intense and very sacrificial service" of the military. His father was serving in Vietnam the day Powell was born, he said. The military, Powell said, defends the American republic.
"We have the ability to have the democratic process we have because of the armed services," Powell said.
In her remarks to the crowd, McAleer said members of the military have sustained "life-altering" injuries, both physical ones and those that are psychological. She spoke briefly about suicides among veterans.
"We must also not forget the 100,000 veteran suicides. The war lasts longer than the tour of duty. And veteran statistics and suicides are evidence of this," McAleer said.
McAleer, in her second congressional campaign, offered a range of remarks centered on military. She said more than 1.3 million members of the armed services have been killed since the Revolutionary War.
"Memorial Day, once again, reminds us that what we enjoy as Americans rests on the backs of so many veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedoms that we so often take for granted. Please let this day live on every day throughout the year," McAleer said.