Today families all across Utah are celebrating our heritage during Pioneer Days. I’ll never forget my days as a child waking up to meet my family at the JB’s restaurant that used to be in downtown Ogden. We’d have our breakfast then head out to watch the parade head down Washington Boulevard. After the parade, meeting for a picnic up by the Old Saint Ben’s. The evening would complete with fireworks at my grandparent’s house, waving sparklers in the air and trying to write our names with the glow.
I reflect on those days of my youth often. The city and the state have changed much over the last couple decades.
Now I take my own children to the various events my hometown hosts. It is their turn to admire the floats and maybe see the girl or boy they have a crush on marching, riding, or waving in the parade. It is these traditions that our kids will remember going forward in life. The time we spend with them will echo in their memories.
More important than the events and fun things we take our children to that will stay with our children is what we as parents teach them. That legacy is more important than the parades and fireworks shows they will see on days like today. So what are we teaching our children on days like today?
One of the things that I have been teaching my children is their family history. Pioneer Day is a perfect opportunity to do that in the Bowden family. See, our family was among some of the first pioneers to trek out West with the Mormon Pioneer Companies to settle the Territory of Deseret. When we first arrived in the valley, our family was asked to head north and help settle Brigham City.
My family established a peach farm there and through hard work and dedication helped build this state to what it is today. It was with sweat, grit, and determination that the Bowden family flourished and became what it is. If you have ever had the chance to drive up north to the Brigham area and tried a peach, you have taken a bite into my family history. Something we share with all of Utah.
The lessons taught about the trail full of trials moving out west have taught my kids that to accomplish anything, you must put one foot in front of the other. That in order to make it to the destination you desire in life it will not always be easy. I read them the stories from the journals of our ancestors so that they know nothing in this life is free; it always bears a price.
That is the message I wish to share with you today.
In our fight for liberty with this campaign, I am in the true pioneer spirit my ancestors brought with them from Great Britain, across the Great Plains, with not much but the clothing off their backs. They were determined to be free to practice their religion and to make something of themselves in America.
This campaign is a lot like those Bowdens of the past. We don’t have millions of dollars like Democrats and Republicans do. We do not have an easy path. Our path is one of hard work where every vote is earned. We have so much love for liberty that we are not willing to just let the status quo be and are willing to trek every day to see this become a reality.
This fight is my peach orchard. It is my way of giving something sweet and savory to the people of Utah. The sweet taste of liberty.
As you go about your day, take a moment to reflect which road you will take. What will you teach your children today? What traditions will you set for your family? Will you teach them the value of hard work and perseverance?
Today, at least for my family, it is much more than barbecues, parades, picnics, and fireworks. Those are the icing to the cake as we reflect on our past and look forward to the future, knowing that we will always put one foot in front of the other blazing new paths for others to follow.
I ask that you enjoy today with your loved ones and you stay safe as we remember our heritage. We are pioneers. We don’t take the easy road. We forge ahead in all that we do.
Thank you all for your continued support.