(Costa Contra Times) On Sept. 12, Salt Lake Organizing Committee president Mitt Romney walked past the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and stared into the gaping hole where terrorists had plunged American Airlines Flight 77 a day earlier.
Romney was in the capital that day to discuss federal funding
for security measures at the Winter Olympics, which begin Feb.
8 in Salt Lake City. Until he saw the smoldering debris at the
Pentagon, Romney said, he didn't
The LDS church, whose members comprise 69 percent of Utah's
population, has played a key role in helping Salt Lake City appeal
to the world at large. As part of its doctrine, members serve
18 months to two years as missionaries in countries throughout
the world. According to the church, about 50,000 missionaries
currently are serving in more than 150 countries. Former missionaries
will work the Olympics as translators and help educate foreign
visitors about American culture. Bronzed statues of men, women
and children throughout the city also depict the LDS church's
strong belief in family and neighborly hospitality. "We're
a community of neighbors, extending across the world," said
LDS Bishop H. David Burton, who's in charge of facilities management
during the games. "This is our chance to basically open
our hometown and welcome everyone in."