REXBURG — Recently re-elected U.S. Republican State Senator Mike Crapo joined with area veterans and officials from Republican Representative Mike Simpson's and Senator Jim Risch's offices at the Tabernacle to celebrate and honor veterans day on Friday.
During the event, bands played and wreaths were laid to honor veterans and their sacrifices for the country.
Crapo said that he was incredibly honored to speak on Friday. He told the audience that he was also overcome with emotion as he watched the placing of wreaths and also while listening to the anthems of the various branches of the service.
Crapo noted the men and women who sacrifice and serve the United States every day.
“I couldn't help but be filled with pride for the men and women who put their lives on the line — who put their bodies on the line to defend our freedom,” he said.
Crapo reminded the audience the United States remains the strongest, most powerful and most free nation on the earth.
“You all know the reason you are here today. It's because those freedoms are protected every day by the men and the women who now serve in active duty. throughout our country,” he said.
Crapo also recognized service members' families who hold the fort while their loved ones serve in combat zones.
“(It's) these wonderful men and women who so often stay behind when one of them is deployed to keep America strong as well. Thanks goes to those families,” he said.
Crapo also asked the audience to remember the many prisoners of war and those still missing in action from previous wars and conflicts. He told the group that he flies their respective flags in his office every day.
“We cannot forget those who we have still not been able to bring home,” he said. “We need to remember them constantly.”
Crapo told the group how honored he was to serve the people of Idaho. He said it's thanks to Idahoans and its military families that the country has the fortitude to face any kind of difficulty in keeping the country free continually.
“We face a lot of challenges. It's with the strength of people like you and the strength of our veterans' families that we will prevail against all threats that we face, whether foreign or domestic,” he said.
The Tabernacle event was one of many held throughout the region. In St. Anthony, veterans and their families gathered at Keefer Park to honor active duty veterans and those who had died while in the service of their country.
By Lisa Dayley Smith