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Vets gather at Hill and give thanks

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Surrounded by airplanes of past wars, veterans from across the state gathered Nov. 11 at the Heritage Chapel on Hill Air Force Base to commemorate the soldiers who had sacrificed their lives in defense of freedom.

Veterans from the five branches of the military who had fought in conflicts from World War II through the Persian Gulf participated in the ceremony. The symphonic choir performed patriotic songs and HAFB Chaplain Tom Gills offered a prayer of thanks to "remember soldiers who gave their tomorrows for the ideals of today."

In the end, as taps played and retired soldiers from the Air Force, Navy, Army, Marines and Coast Guard stood at attention, tears filled the eyes of the men and women who remembered the fallen heroes of the past and prayed for the safety of modern soldiers in the current war in Iraq.

"As we come here today, we come with love in our hearts for you," said Norman Nelson, senior vice commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.