LAYTON -- Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, may be in his sixth term in Congress but Sunday at a Memorial Day program, he talked about his feelings when he was 10 years old and his brother was killed in action during World War II.
"Jess meant everything to me," he said. "Losing him has made me more fully realize the sacrifices made by our soldiers and their families."
Hatch said the stress of that loss caused him to develop a white streak in his hair at that time.
Hatch spoke at an annual outdoor program at Lindquist Funeral Homes' Memorial Park in Layton before a crowd of about 150, including a number of children.
Hatch said that throughout his travels around the world, he has frequently stopped at cemeteries where war heroes are buried to pay homage for their sacrifices.
"Since God ... does not forget those great soldiers, regardless of when they died, we also should not forget," he said.
He said 1.2 million Americans have given their lives for their fellow countrymen.
Among those are the 400,000 buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. He said their graves, line upon line, row upon row, signify that American fallen heroes are gone but not forgotten.
"None gives more pause for gratitude and reflection as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery," he said.
Recalling an inscription on the tomb, he said: "Here rests in glory an American soldier not known to any but to God."
He also reminded the crowd about Utah men who have died in the past year.
Among them, Jason Workman, of Blanding, who also is buried in Arlington National Cemetery and Jared William Day of Taylorsville.
Both Navy men, Workman was a SEAL and Day was an expeditionary warfare specialist. They died in a helicopter explosion.
"These are some of the bravest men the world has ever known," Hatch said.
Hatch spoke of the efforts of John McCain, who suffered as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, including having his arms and legs broken.
"He was one of the first to return with American goodwill," he said, noting that McCain worked to bring Vietnam and the United States back together.
Hatch also spoke about the character of some men and woman in public office, stating that the United States is the herald for all the world.
"This is the greatest country in the world," he said. "There is no other country like it in the world. We are going to get this country back on our feet."
He urged those in attendance to keep the spirit of Utah alive.
"The rest of the country needs it," he said. "Let's all live up to the blessings we have."