Vietnam War veterans honored at state capitol

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By Alexandria Autrey

SALT LAKE CITY — Hundreds gathered at the State Capitol on this rainy Saturday to honor Vietnam War veterans.

Navy Junior ROTC cadets lined the west lawn with 364 flags, representing 364 Utah soldiers who were killed during the Vietnam conflict.

From photographs to first hand experiences, people at the ceremony also got the chance to learn about the history behind the war, with KUED’s Utah Vietnam War Stories exhibit in the Hall of Governors.

Sawn Swenson, director of Colonial Flag Foundation, said the cadets take special pride in putting the flags on display.

“They’re definitely doing it out of the goodness of their hearts and volunteering on a rainy Saturday to come out here and do this,” he said. “There’s probably 35 to 40 cadets out here helping us in their nice uniforms, getting all muddy, but a labor of love for sure.”

There was also a ceremonial bill signing by Gov. Gary Herbert, who declared May 18 as Utah Vietnam War Veteran’s Day of Honor.