KAYSVILLE -- It didn't take long for the chairs to be filled with people, and those who couldn't find a chair stood or sat on the green grass in the Kaysville City Cemetery to take part in the Memorial Day program being hosted there.
U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, who was raised in Kaysville and graduated with honors from Davis High School, spoke to the crowd gathered in this peaceful setting under the overcast sky.
"Memorial Day is set aside for remembering those who made our lives what they are. It is a time to reflect upon what has been given us," Bishop said.
He spoke of those in the U.S. military who dedicated their lives to service for our country and are willing to protect our freedoms.
"They do it for the safety of our children so they can grow with great potential. This is not found in the rest of the world," he said.
Bishop talked of the early American settlers who were told that anything they built here would decay. But the early founders wanted to make a system of government that was the best in the world.
He spoke of the battles during the early American history and said that on the first day of the Civil War during the Battle of Gettysburg, more soldiers were killed than in all of the Iraq War. He said during World War II, Hitler thought that the United States would be unable to stand up for itself or produce a military, but America had success not only in Europe but in the East, and even won the Cold War.
"Now we are writing another chapter in history," Bishop said, because of 9/11 and the War on Terrorism. He explained that it was no coincidence that the terrorist attack happened on Sept. 11. If the Turks had not been stopped on Sept. 12, 1683, Europe would have been Muslim.
"This is the most generous country in the world and it is hated by sources of evil. We don't just live through challenges, but we win," Bishop said, calling this the era of terrorism.
Tears and joy come as we remember those gone before and honor those in uniforms who have made our country what it is, he said.
Tragedy hits close to home
Mayor Steve Hiatt said he has always stood in appreciation for those who fought for our country and for those who gave us our freedom, but it really hit home this month when the son of his neighbors was critically injured in Afghanistan.
"Gordon and Lynette Lyon's son Dave was seriously injured two weeks ago while fighting for our country," Hiatt said.
May 17 started out being a good day for the Lyon family, but about 7 p.m. that all changed when the Marine Corps drove up to their home. Gordon's heart dropped, said Hiatt, but he learned that his son is still alive -- although a triple amputee.
Young David Lyon was transported to Germany from Afghanistan and from there to Washington, D.C. where he had eight surgeries in 10 days and has many more to come.
The military is fighting for the many things we take for granted, Hiatt said.
The invocation was given by Harris Adams, the great-grandson of Elias Adams, who fought in the War of 1812 and is probably the oldest veteran buried in the Kaysville City Cemetery.
Peggy Huft, who was raised in Kaysville but is now a Fruit Heights resident, said she enjoyed the morning service.
"My heart was very touched because I am very concerned about our country too. I am grateful for heroes," Huft said. "I'm already committed to fighting for our country."
Kate Billings waited to speak to the mayor and council members.
"I am a veteran so this means a lot to me," said Billings, who also lives in Kaysville. She was in the Army, but at that time she wasn't treated very well.
"It was awful to be in the Army. We had things thrown at us," she recalled.
"When we came home we couldn't wear our uniform with pride, especially women."
Service lifted her spirits
But this memorial service lifted her spirits.
"It was very special," she said. "I love history and Bishop puts it into perspective. Taps and the 21-gun salute are very close to my heart. Taps just rips my heart out."
When in the military it was her job to arrange for the salute and Taps.
The Davis High School Drum Corps played as members of the American Legion Post 27 of Farmington carried and posted the flags.
The 21-gun salute and taps brought everyone to their feet as they honored the fallen and those who came home.
It was announced that a portion of the cemetery at the southwest corner will one day be a special memorial for veterans.