Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

November 16, 2022
Tooele Elks Lodge hosts veterans program

With over 150 in attendance, the Tooele Elks Lodge held a Veteran’s Day program on Nov. 11 to commemorate the sacrifice of Tooele County veterans.

The event, held at the Dow James Memorial Building, began at 9:30 a.m. with a free breakfast.

The official program started at 11 a.m. beginning with the presentation of colors by the Marine Corps League. As part of the Marine Corps League, Nando Meli, Stockton mayor, carried the American Flag.

After the presentation of colors, those in attendance said the Pledge of Allegiance and Tooele City Mayor Debbie Winn sang the National Anthem, followed by a prayer from Father Rafeal Ventura from St. Marguerite Catholic Church.

After this, Winn gave a few opening remarks.

“On behalf of the residents of Tooele City who I represent, I want to extend our deep appreciation to all of those who are currently serving and protecting our country,” Winn said. “Especially today, I am grateful for the service that each of you have provided to continue to keep us a free country where we can live freely and have the rights that we have.”

A missing man table reading was given by Harold McConnell.

A missing man table is a memorial set up to honor fallen, missing, or imprisoned military service members. During the presentation, McConnell spoke about the items on the table and what they symbolize. The table consisted of a white tablecloth, a single candle, a Bible, an inverted glass, and a single rose in a vase tied with a red or yellow ribbon.

After the reading, Jesse Gallo, exalted ruler at the Tooele Elks Lodge, introduced this year’s guest speaker, Colonel Brian T. Hoffman, commander at Dugway Proving Ground who told a story about his grandfather who served in World War II symbolizing the impact of war on family members.

“The true cost [of war] is the impact on our spouses and children,” he said. “While we celebrate Veterans Day, what America needs and these families deserve is a day honoring sacrifices– a nation thankful to the cost of our loved ones as they supported those who served and defended the constitution.”

At the end of his speech, Hoffman recognized the service of all veterans and especially thanked those who have served after 9/11.

“Thank you for what you do to protect us and our nation,” he said.

“Whether you served in the military, served in the local community, or served those who served in the military, thank you for your sacrifice and your decision to step forward when our nation needed you,” Hoffman continued.

After Hoffman spoke, Ventura gave a closing prayer and the Marine Corps League retired the colors.

Dave McCall, a member of the Elks Lodge and a Tooele City Councilman, closed the program by thanking community members for their attendance and those who spoke.

At the end of the program, the Tooele County Quilt Guild provided 58 veterans with quilts made by members of the guild.

Each year, beginning five years ago, members of the guild have provided veterans in the community with quilts to thank them for their service.

“There’s a lot of love that goes into these and it’s our way to say ‘Thank you,’” said Cindy Kirk, a member of the Quilt Guild, before distributing the quilts to veterans.


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