The Unfinished Work
Some may ask why we need to build a state memorial to honor World War II and our veterans. Is honoring veterans or remembering the sacrifice of those who died in war defending our freedom more important than homelessness or education or any of the other concerns of our current society? No, it is not. However, it is very important and critical to us as a nation and as individuals to remember and honor the major sacrifices made on our behalf to keep us free so that we can work on these other issues. When we create a symbol of how we feel about what they did, we are not only honoring them and their sacrifice, we are also reminding ourselves of the importance of the principles of freedom that they died to preserve. It is not just the freedom to choose, it is freedom from abuse, freedom from slavery, freedom from want and freedom from injustice. It gives to every individual a hope that we will still be free, that things will be better in the future, that our children will have these same freedoms and their lives will be better and happier than ours. It reminds us that we will not allow tyrants or despots to bring terror, misery or horror to us, our families, our communities or our nation.
Yes, today in our land we honor veterans but it is much more important to honor the principles for which they sacrificed for us and for our nation. When we create a symbolic gesture to these freedoms and to those who gave so much in defending them, we instill hope, we bring comfort and we create a commitment to these same ideals that have withstood the test of time.
When veterans see the national symbol of the World War II memorial, it stirs deep emotions within them, even to the point of tears. Is it because of their own selfish desire to be recognized? No, it is not. It is because they appreciate the recognition of why they made that commitment and sacrifice. It brings hope for the future, that we understand and are symbolically supporting and are committed to maintaining those freedoms. That what they did was not wasted, has not been forgotten but has great meaning to our nation and to each one of us individually.
Now let us work together to create our own symbolic gesture here in Utah of a memorial to World War II so that we can show our veterans right here in their home state that we are also aware and committed to those same ideals and that we honor their sacrifice and especially the lives of those who gave their all to build and maintain this our nation, our state and our communities. Let it be a symbol to our children to know and understand these same principles of freedom and commitment. Let it instill in them the same hope and appreciation of who we are and what we have created not just for ourselves and our families but everyone all around the world, that it symbolically recognizes that peace, kindness and freedom are not only possible but real and achievable in this land and hopefully in nations around the world.
President Lincoln said (from Gettysburg address) “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us…” So now let us do our part and let us dedicate ourselves to the great task of the “unfinished work” and the “great task remaining” with a state monument and a state building to honor and remember our valiant veterans and their sacrifice for us.