By Staff Sgt. Nicholas Cloward
128th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
Approximately 7,000 Air and Army National Guardsman stood in formation on Tarbet Field at Camp Williams, Utah, for one of Utah's proudest traditions, the 65th annual Governor’s Day ceremony, Sep. 14, 2019.
Gov. Gary R. Herbert, commander in chief of the Utah National Guard, addressed the challenges of having the dual purpose of serving the state while accomplishing a federal missions as well.
"Today, regardless of the challenges that we face—and we certainly have them here in this state, through this country and throughout the world—I take courage in the knowledge that whatever task lies ahead, it's not as great as the power that I see before me here today," said Herbert.
Herbert took a moment to remind service members and their families of the true purpose of Governor’s Day: Not just to review the troops, but to honor service members and their families for their sacrifice. He also acknowledged the families of Utah's recently fallen Soldiers Maj. Brent Taylor, the mayor of North Ogden who was serving with the Special Operations Joint Task Force, and Capt. Corey Holmgren, a Chaplain with the 19th Special Forces Group.
"Thank you for preserving our freedoms, our liberties, and our way of life,” Herbert said. “We are proud of your service and your great example. May God bless you and your service. May God continue to bless the great state of Utah, and may God bless the United States of America."
Maj. Gen. Jefferson S. Burton, adjutant general, Utah National Guard, also honored the Soldiers that lost their lives this last year as he quoted from the Lays of Ancient Rome by Thomas Babington Macaulay:
Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the gate:
“To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers
And the temples of his gods…”
He also stressed the importance of staying ready, reliable, relevant, and responsive.
"Luck favors the prepared,” Burton said. “That's why we work so hard to ensure our formations are ready to go, should we be called upon."
Burton spoke about the pyramid Soldiers and Airman live with daily: their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. He also explained that a service member’s health is the responsibility of the individual and caring for oneself is most important. He asked them to maintain their physical fitness, emotional and mental health, and finally, find something spiritual to enrich their lives in the coming year.
After the pass in review, Guardsmen and their families were given the opportunity to enjoy food, activities, and most importantly time with their loved ones who serve and sacrifice alongside them.
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