96 South Main Street, PO Box 77, Nephi, Utah 84648 - Voice: 435 623-0525 - FAX: 435 623-4735
On our front page this week
September 15, 2021
By Myrna Trauntvein
At the Day of Remembrance held at Nephi City Park, Burgess Owens, Congressman from Utah’s Fourth Congressional District, personally shook hands with all veterans, law enforcement officers, firemen and EMS from the county.
He also presented each with an American Flag and a booklet prepared for the occasion.
A prayer was offered by Reid Jarrett, American Legion Chaplin.
Robert Painter, was the emcee, representing the American Legion Post # 1, who worked to put together the program. He welcomed all present.
“We would like to thank Nephi’s mayor and the three county commissioners for joining us on the stand,” said Painter.
He said the occasion was an emotional one for him as he reflected on the events of 9/11 20 years ago and said that all could remember where they were when they first heard the news.
“A hero is someone who runs towards danger while others are running from it,” said Painter.
On 9/11, first responders ran toward the burning buildings and some stayed to serve those who were suffering, he said.
On September 11, 2001 nineteen terrorists from al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial jetliners, deliberately crashing two of the planes into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City, and the Pentagon. A third plane, Flight 93, crashed into an empty field in west Pennsylvania after crew and passengers fought back against their attackers. There were 2,977 people killed in these attacks, from 93 nations.
A moment of silence was observed to honor all those who lost their lives in the tragedy of 9/11.
Also honored were the 13 U.S. service members killed at the Kabul airport on August 26, 2021, when they were trying to help Afghanistans leave the country.
Recognition of each of the branches of the armed forces, including the Space Force, an independent branch of the military that was carved out of the Air Force in December 2019, was made.
The colors were posted by the American Legion Post #1 and Clinton Painter, Juab County Commissioner, lead the pledge of allegiance. Dr. Kodey Hughes, Juab School District Superintendent, played the National Anthem.
“We will have each branch of the military carry in and post the flag of their branch and all other members of that branch will march in behind,” said Painter.
Dan Woodland, riding astride his horse, was assisted by his daughter in leading another horse with a flag draped over the saddle to honor those who had paid the ultimate price.
“Freedom gives citizens the freedom to do what they choose,” said Richard Hansen, Juab County Commission Chairman. “Liberty entails the responsible use of freedom under the rule of law.”
Hansen said that he wanted to thank all those who had been honored for serving and for continuing to serve. He also thanked the American Legion for putting together the remembrance ceremony.
“We are the front line,” said Hansen.
He believed the Constitution was inspired by God and that citizens should be involved in protecting it.
Hansen introduced Congressman Owens who was the guest speaker.
“Born in the segregated South, he saw people of all backgrounds come together to work tirelessly against adversity,” said Hansen.
As a young man, Burgess was one of the first four black athletes recruited to play football at the University of Miami and the third black student there to receive a scholarship. He was the 13th pick in the first round of the 1973 NFL draft and joined the New York Jets, later playing safety for ten seasons in the NFL for the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders, winning the Super Bowl with the 1980 Raiders’ team. Burgess lead the Raiders defensive squad in tackles on their way to the 1980 Super Bowl Championship.
“When I first met him, we took a photo and I got to wear his Super Bowl Championship ring,” said Hansen.
Burgess now serves as a member of the House Education and Labor Committee and House Judiciary Committee.
“Congressman Burgess believes in dreaming big and follows the four guiding principles of faith, family, free markets, and education,” said Hansen.
Burgess began by complimenting all. Nephi reminded him of the community of his youth where patriotism was important and where people of all backgrounds and ethnicities believed in the American Dream that all could advance to the middle class.
He said that we were free in the United States because of the rule of law.
He had been schooled as a child to be proud of his country and found that the people of Juab County shared his views. He does follow the guiding principles of faith, family, free markets and education.
“When I was seven years old, I was honored to walk five miles (uphill both ways) every day to raise the flag,” said Burgess.
The boys given that honor were careful and respectful of the flag, making sure that it never touched the ground and were taught to have respect for the flag by their parents.
His upbringing in 1960’s Deep South Tallahassee was reflective of other communities that had embraced the nations’ promise of an opportunity to join America’s Middle Class. It was during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s that these communities led our nation in the growth of its middle class.
“Our country allows any person to reach the middle class within one generation,” he said.
When he had joined the Raiders, he said, it had been a place for second chances. Teamwork was important and winning was important. All they had to do was win.
The Raiders represented a team of diversity. They just knew that all they had to do was win.
He had returned from California the day before where a Republican is running for governor of that state and then had spent time viewing coverage of the 9/11 tragedy of 20 years ago.
“I stayed up until 2 a.m. watching the events of 9/11,” said Owens. “So many rushed to that building. That’s the American way.”
We should never apologize for that, he said.
“We live in this bubble,” Owens said. “Evil is at the doorstep.”
We all need to wake up and once we wake up, the game is over, he said. When people started talking to each other, then the game was over.
Following the speech of Owens, the crowd moved to the area near where the Lion’s Club was preparing breakfast in the large bowery. That breakfast was free to all vets, police officers, firemen and EMS members and their partners.
At the edge of the large bowery, an area had been prepared for the flag retirement of flags honoring AA Flight 11, UA Flight 175, AA Flight 77 and UA Flight 93.
Following the flag retirement, American Legion Post #1 fired a 21 gun salute.
Troy Rindlisbacher and Steve Hart provided echo taps.
Mike Price ran the audio media with music to fit the various segments.
A silent auction to benefit the American Legion was held in the west small bowery for quilts and special items. Baked goods were also offered for sale.
“I just wanted to reach out and invite everyone to our commemorative 9/11 Day of Service,” said Doug Peterson, Nephi Utah Stake President. “Our community leaders organized an opportunity to come together and serve in honor of that significant day 20 years ago.”
The groups organized into three units, one cleaned headstones at Pioneer Cemetery, the second at Vine Bluff Cemetery and the third at the site of the blue water tank where a city dump truck collected garbage picked up by volunteers.
“We wanted this to also be a day of service,” said Glade Nielsen, mayor.
The service projects were scheduled to last until noon but many volunteers stayed beyond that time.
Thanks were also given to Nephi City, Nephi Lions, American Legion Post #1, Kent Jones, R.M.W.T., Korey and Emily Wright, Nephi Western Credit Union, American First Credit Union, Nebo Queen, NWTF, Lynn Ingram, Cache Valley Bank, Mid State Consultants, 4D Plumbing, White Brothers Trailers, Livingston Photography and Print Shop, Rod and Lori Steiner, Little Giant Ladders, Mike Price and Haven House.