By Naomi Hatch –
“The world is run by those that show up,” said keynote speaker Supervisor David Tenney at the Trapper Days Memorial Program.
Tenney showed his sense of humor when he said that he had been the stump speaker at the Fourth of July program several times and a stump speaker is “an idiot asked to stand and speak,” noting that description was not applicable to Paul Hatch who was in the audience and had also been a Fourth of July stump speaker.
Referring to the reading of the names on the Veteran’s Memorial completed just before he spoke, Tenney said, “I’m amazed at the amount of names read that represent this community. It’s a tribute to this community.”
“Our freedoms and liberties are under daily attack,” said Tenney. “Will we stand up or allow those freedoms to be taken away one step at a time?”
Tenney noted that he believes we’re dangerously close to the bondage our forefathers worked so hard to stop.
“We need to get back to God, return to being ‘One Nation, Under God’. Only then can we have His mercy and protection,” he said.
Tenney told a story written by Robert VanDerslice called “Did you Stand?” about an older veteran who was at the airport and taught a traveler an unforgettable lesson on patriotism.
“I believe that indeed, Old Glory is the last remaining beacon of hope in a lost world,” he said and asked the audience, “Will we stand for Old Glory? Will we stand for ‘One Nation, Under God’? Will we stand for the freedom and principles that formed this great nation? Will we stand for what is good and right? Will we stand and try to preserve this great nation for our children and grandchildren?”
The Memorial Day program was not well attended this year, possibly in part because it was moved to the Taylor LDS Stake Center due to the strong winds; but those attending left feeling a spirit of patriotism that was increased through the program.
Taylor Vice Mayor Jane Lee and Councilman Gary Solomon were in attendance as well as Navajo County Supervisor J.R. Despain and Arizona State Senator Sylvia Allen. Snowflake-Taylor American Legion Post 126 posted the colors and presented the flag to Lenard Hunt, a World War II Veteran.
Hailey Farr sang “God Bless America.” MC Scott Burt gave a brief history of Memorial Day, originally Decoration Day, which first began after the Civil War, where over 300,000 people lost their lives. President Abraham Lincoln was asked to dedicate a grave, which was a tremendous burden to him due to the loss of lives and he was troubled as to what to say. A member of his party traveling with him suggested he let everyone know they didn’t die in vain. He wrote the Gettysburg Address on the train taking him to that dedication.
Burt, who was conducting the program for Floyd and Pat Fuentes, who organized the program but were unable to attend, introduced a family member who recognized the names of those service men and women who left from Taylor and names are on the Veteran’s Memorial. Twyla Denee, representing Joseph Brimhall, read the names of those who served from Taylor in World War I.
Leon Palmer and Deanne Smith, representing Harvey Palmer, read the names of World War II veterans. There were 128 enlisted from Taylor and their names are on the monument. Katy Udall, representing Peter Shumway, read the names of those serving in the Korean War. Michelle Reidhead, representing Norris Baldwin, read those from the Vietnam War. Crystal Fails Seitz, representing Dorothy Fails, who gave her life during Desert Storm, read the names of those who served. Katie Udall, representing Steven Udall, read the names of those who served in other conflicts.
This year, Tyler Reddick, Travis Reddick and Ryan Barr were added to the Veteran’s Memorial; and the 2011 fallen comrades are Ted Brimhall, Jay Hancock, Joe Baird, Richard Hill, Robert Canfield, Leo Imielski and Kenneth Penrod.
The program concluded with Mack Tenney and Bill Solomon playing “Taps.”