The Legislature gave solemn tribute Thursday to six Utahns who were killed in action in Afghanistan during the past year, citing them as examples "to all of the commitment of Americans in defending liberty."
"They left a legacy of courage," said Rep. Ryan Wilcox, R-Ogden, as families of the six listened in the House chamber. "It is because of their sacrifice that we remain free to have debates in the home of the brave."
Honored were the following: Army Spc. Preston J. Suter, killed on July 5; Marines Lance Corporal Norberto Mendez-Hernandez, killed on July 10; Army Cpl. Raphael R. Arruda, killed on July 16; Marines Sgt. Daniel D. Gurr, killed on Aug. 5; and Navy SEALs Jason R. Workman and Jared W. Day, killed on Aug. 6.
"Thank you for the sacrifice. We will not forget," House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, told the families.
Speaking for the House, Wilcox said, "These six are among the thousands who have unselfishly sacrificed their own liberties to protect ours. We must never forget that our ability to pursue happiness, to celebrate what we do every day, is a product of the blood they shed."
He added, "Such selfless love must never be taken for granted. It must never become a faded memory."
The citation passed by the Legislature and given to the families said, in part, "May the goodness of their lives and the integrity of their service serve as examples to all of the commitment of Americans in defending liberty at home and abroad."