by brad clayton 2021 National President
What an exciting end event filled month July was for the Sons of Utah Pioneers. Pioneer week began on July 19th with the annual SUPER-DUPER Day at This is the Place Heritage Park. President Dallin H. Oaks, 1st counselor in the First Presidency was our devotional speaker. Following President Oaks those in attendance enjoyed a relaxing and fun filled day in the park with family and friends. The next day on July 20th we held the dedication of the Bear Flag at the sup headquarters building in Salt Lake City (Click HERE for a fall report from KSL). The dedication was well attended and enjoyed by all. Gary Smith gave a history of the flag and its importance in our history. Pioneer Day this year was held on July 23rd and began with the annual Sunrise Service sponsored by the Salt Lake Pioneer Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers. This was held in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square where Elder David F. Evans, general authority seventy, was the speaker. Following the Sunrise Service we as an organization completed our annual trek in the Days of 47 parade by pulling handcarts and walking in the parade. Everyone enjoyed doing this and by the reaction of the crowd they enjoyed watching us. The week was capped off with many chapter and community events around the region.
When we think of pioneers we often think of those who walked the pioneer trail to the Salt Lake Valley between 1847 and the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10th, 1869. There were pioneers before this time and there are pioneers after this time. Many if not all of us are pioneering today in some form or fashion. July is full of these pioneer stories. I want to mention five. First there are the signers of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Then there was the Mormon Battalion that was called into service and began there march to San Diego in 1846. We all know the story of Brigham Young leading the Vanguard company to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, the company that began the Mormon migration westward. On July 20th, 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first man to step on the moon, what a pioneer he was. Then on July 20th, 2021 the oldest (82) and youngest (18) persons ever to fly in space made the journey to weightlessness on a private spacecraft, blazing the trail for others to follow.
August is as important to each of us as any other month. It is filled with end of summer family activities and events. Take time to share the stories of pioneers from the past as well as pioneers from today. Each of you have your own pioneer story. Write it down and share it with those you care about. Just as you gain strength from your pioneer ancestors your posterity will one day gain strength from you.
If you haven’t already signed up for the annual encampment please consider doing so. It will be a great encampment and you will come away blessed for attending. Thanks to each of you for helping make the Sons of Utah Pioneers the great organization that it is.