SALT LAKE CITY -- Tears still flow from the parents of Army Cpl. Raphael R. Arruda, who was killed in Afghanistan on July 16, 2011.
"Every time, it is emotional," Sergio Arruda De Souza, of South Ogden, said of the times he has gone to special events honoring his son, who died just a few days before his 22nd birthday in Kunar District, Afghanistan.
Arruda's mother, Carmen Possche, of Sandy, said, "My son went to war. He wanted to do that. He wanted to fight for freedom."
The Utah House and the Senate honored the families of Arruda and five other Utah fallen soldiers Thursday.
Since 2003, lawmakers have set aside time on both floors to thank the families for their sacrifice and to remember the soldiers who died while fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, said after introducing the families to the Senate, "I want you to know what's in my heart. I appreciate your sacrifice."
Christensen also said, with tears, "They will never get to see another sunrise or get a hug from their loved ones."
Rep. Ryan Wilcox, R-Ogden, introduced the families in the House.
"These six are among the thousands who have sacrificed their liberties to protect our liberties," Wilcox said.
Wilcox then gave each family a citation, signed by the governor and lawmakers.
Arruda De Souza said he worries that memories will fade and people will forget about the soldiers who died.
But he also worries that people today forget about the soldiers who do return home.
Several of those in his son's unit suffered injuries. One has been in rehab in Texas. Others have problems with post-traumatic stress disorder.
"No one is talking about them or thanking them," Arruda De Souza said.
But they, along with other family members, are grateful for the honor lawmakers gave them.
Carmen Possche's husband, Thomas, said he was impressed by the lawmakers.
"They showed real concern," he said.
Tears were visible on their faces as lawmakers and others observed a moment of silence to remember the soldiers.
Those also honored were:
* Army Spc. Preston J. Suter, 22, of Sandy, who died July 5 in Paktia Province, Afghanistan.
* Marine Lance Cpl. Norberto Mendez-Hernandez, 22, of Logan, who died July 10 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
* Marine Sgt. Daniel D. Gurr, 21, of Vernal, who died Aug. 5 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
* Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class SEAL Jason R. Workman, of Blanding, who died Aug. 6 in Wardak Province, Afghanistan.
* Navy Petty Officer 1st Class SEAL Jared W. Day, 28, of Taylorsville, who died Aug. 6 in Wardak Province, Afghanistan.