The first Memorial Day was celebrated over 150 years ago and BYU-Idaho continued the tradition Friday in the Crossroads.

“A lot of Memorial Day is remembrance,” said Capt. Cory Chatigny, department chair of the Army ROTC program at BYU-I. “I’ve lost classmates, I’ve lost soldiers, both while deployed in the war zone and when they came back home and couldn’t leave the war behind.”

Several members of the military and Army ROTC members were present at the event. They see Memorial Day as an opportunity to honor those who have served our country.

Chatigny spoke alongside Johnny Faughn, a veteran who helps with Army ROTC, explained more about the Army ROTC program and how they spend this Memorial Day Weekend.

Chatigny encouraged students to honor Memorial Day by taking time to thank veterans. He encourages students to take the time to talk with veterans in the area and thank them.

Faughn says that as long as students can take time to remember those who have served, how they celebrate the weekend is up to them.

“At my house my wife has a list of chores that I am going to do,” Faughn said.

Faughn sees Memorial Day as an opportunity to recognize those that have given the ultimate sacrifice, however that might be.

“…People will go out and they’ll camp and do some fishing or boating… and that’s their way to remember what people have done,” Faughn said. “And I think when you (take a moment to think about what has been sacrificed), how you celebrate the rest of it doesn’t matter.”

Faughn has found recruits to join the Army ROTC because they love to serve. When members of Army ROTC finish the program, they go on to change the world, he says.

“…The biggest thing we teach them is leadership both within the army and civilian life as well,” Chatigny said.