Small towns are the heart and soul of America.
Hyde Park is my small town. This past weekend we joined together as a community to celebrate and recognize our pioneer heritage. I was honored to be asked to share a few thoughts at the community celebration.
I took inspiration for my thoughts from this beautiful pioneer monument, pictured above, located on the grounds of the Hyde Park Civic Center. Below each of the intricately-carved panels, an engraved plaque tells the following story of the many peoples who pioneered their way to Cache Valley and Hyde Park.
Click the link if you like to hear my three-minute remarks.
REMEMBER the Native Americans of the Shoshoni Tribe who lived in this valley for more than 800 years. They raised their families here, and they hunted, fished, and gathered food in the same mountains, streams and canyons that surround us now. Remember that they reverenced, preserved, and lived in harmony with this remarkable and challenging land.
REMEMBER the trappers and the frontiersmen who explored this region, cached furs and supplies in this valley, and gathered here with others for trading and celebrating between 1824 and 1841. Remember that their skills and labor, their common sense and frontier wisdom, opened this land and prepared the way for those who were to come later with families, seeds, plows and herds.
REMEMBER the Mormon Pioneers, more than 70,000 strong, who heeded the Spirit of the Lord and the call of the Prophet Brigham Young, and gathered to Zion in wagons and handcarts between 1847 and 1869. Remember that men, women, and children, at great sacrifice, crossed oceans and rivers, and walked more than a thousand miles over plains and mountains to reach these valleys. Remember, too, the 6,000 who gave their lives before trail’s end.
REMEMBER that pioneers of many faiths came to these valleys for the love of God. In fifty-three years they established and built more than 500 communities from California to Colorado, from Canada to Mexico and places in between. Remember that their devotion to hard work, sacrifice and cooperation, built not only communities, but also a spiritual haven in these rugged mountain valleys.
REMEMBER the settlers of Hyde Park, who, in 1860, began plowing fields, digging canals, and building homes, farms and schools on this land. They worshipped God, served Him, helped one another, and raised strong and enduring families here. Remember that their efforts planted the seeds of all we now harvest and enjoy in this beautiful place.
MAY WE REMEMBER
MAY WE ALWAYS REMEMBER
It was also a sacred privilege to be part of the honor guard for the Hyde Park parade marching alongside Specialist Justin Frandsen and Boy Scouts Kaleb Kunz and Brady Larsen.
I am always touched to see people standing for the Flag. As we marched along many people were rising and placing their hands over their heart a full half block before the Flag passed in front of them. I noticed one young man who was obviously a veteran by the stalwart salute he offered to the Flag we were carrying.
Pioneer Day is July 24th in Utah and commemorates the arrival of the Mormon Pioneers in 1847 to this arid wasteland of a desert that would one day “blossom like a rose.”
If you live in Utah, or one of the many neighboring communities that celebrate Pioneer Day, do you live in a small town or a big city? How do you celebrate your community? How do you personally connect with the day?
Share your thoughts and enjoy the celebration.
Have a great Monday! Thanks for letting me share.
p.s. Take 13 minutes today to remember the pioneers in your life.
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