Friday, July 24, 2015

Pioneer Day

Mormon Handcart Pioneers statue, Temple Square, Salt Lake City, Utah
If I only lived in Utah, I'd have the day off today.  Sadly, I'm still in California, and I'll be at the office today, as usual, slaving away.

But in Utah, it's Pioneer Day - a day honoring our LDS pioneer ancestors who came across this great country of ours and settled the Salt Lake basin starting back in 1847.

Being in California I'll miss the parades honoring them.  There will be parades throughout Utah today.  There will be lots of backyard grilling, too, I imagine.

On July 24th of 1847, Brigham Young entered the Salt Lake Valley with an advance company of engineers and scientists, and uttered those now famous words, "This is the right place, drive on!"

More than 70,000 Latter-day Saints made this trek in the following years via either oxen-pulled wagons or handcarts.  I can't comprehend what that must have been like!

Later, of course, the railroad came through, and changed everything.

"For some must push and some must pull.."
Those early pioneers not only helped settle Utah, but also began settlements in Idaho, Arizona, Nevada and California.  We owe them a great debt for their faith and courage in carving out a new life from a wilderness.

I think about them every time I make a road trip in my comfortable car through long stretches of desert through those states.  I am in awe of those women, especially, who left comfortable homes in well-established Eastern United States cities, and European capitals, to forge a life in the unknown.

Truly they were (as the song says) "Blessed, Honored, Pioneers"!

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