Welcome to 2021. I have great hopes that this year will be better for each of you than 2020 was. Look back and see what 2020 brought to you. covid-19, a 5.7 magnitude earthquake, a wind storm with winds over 120 mph, a severe drought and a Mormon cricket infestation across western Utah. 2020 also gave each of us an opportunity to reflect on what is most important, family, writing our personal history and drawing closer to our Father in Heaven. The year was a tough one, but each of you are pioneer strong.
I hope everyone had a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I also hope that each of you were able to, on December 21st, take time to look into the night sky and see the great conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter. Many called this the Christmas Star. Of course it was not the star that signaled the Saviors birth, never the less it was a spectacular event to see. An event that no one had seen in 800 years. If you saw it tell your family about it and pass it on.
On December 3rd the Salt Lake Pioneer Chapter re-dedicated the restored monument in pioneer park in Salt Lake City. This was a wonderful event with speakers, music and the dedication by Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. of the Seventy. Pioneer Park was the first settlement established in the valley when the pioneers first arrived. The area has been, over time, the gathering place for emigrants and settlers from around the world and all walks of life. There is so much history in this part of Salt Lake City that is exciting to learn. You can read about the history of this area in a series called “West Side Stories”.
Thanksgiving found me in south of Tucson Arizona. The weekend after Thanksgiving I took two of my sons in law on a trek across southern Arizona looking for monuments that are on the sup web site. Two monuments were listed on the map. We could not find the first one, however we found the second one 30 miles away from where it was supposed to be. This was a Mormon Battalion monument and told the story of the battle of the bulls. By the end of the day we had found two other Mormon Battalion monuments and had visited the new wall being built on the Mexican border. The next day took us to Tucson where we found a large statue and monument depicting the Mormon Battalion. On one of the plaques it said that the Battalion had raised the first American Flag in Tucson. Think about that for a minute.
The Mormon Battalion carried the American “Bear Flag” with them on their march, the same Bear Flag that is now on display at the headquarters building of the SUP. I think we can assume with almost certainty that the flag raised in Tucson by the Mormon Battalion is in fact the Bear Flag that we display. This find got me excited for my next trek and adventure, to see what I can find and learn. Any time you are looking for something to do go to: sup1847.com or suponline.org, then look at the interactive map and find a monument to visit. Take a family member with you and make some memories.
The sons of utah pioneers is alive and well. There is hope for the future with COVID-19. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Remember your pioneer family in your chapters and share the pioneer spirit. Be safe and be PIONEER STRONG.
The Sons of Utah Pioneers is alive and well. There is hope for the future with COVID-19. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Remember your pioneer family in your chapters and share the pioneer spirit. Be safe and be PIONEER STRONG.
Brad Clayton 2021 National President