Pioneer Day

Posted - Jul. 23, 2004 at 11:53 p.m.



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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Utah residents have two events they celebrate and honor during the month of July. We express our love of country and flag on the Fourth of July, and on the 24th, we pay honor and tribute to the pioneers who settled this great state.

Regardless of background or belief, one has to respect those hearty souls who moved into the desolate Salt Lake Valley 157 years ago and established the base for this part of the most wonderful country in the world.

When the first Mormon refugees immerged from the mouth of Immigration Canyon, they saw a stark and intimidating valley. Few trees shaded the land, and the sun beat down unmercifully on the earth. Indeed, the ground was too hard for growing ample crops, yet these indomitable folks stayed. They constructed aqueducts and diverted water from the mountain streams. They organized the toil that lay ahead and worked and strained and made the valley "blossom as a rose."

When I read or reflect on the stories of the early Mormon pioneers, I am filled with awe, respect and gratitude. I marvel at their courage, determination and faith. I close my eyes and visualize the suffering and torment they endured, and then I wonder. Would I have been that strong? Would I have been that courageous? Would I have been that stalwart?

Have you ever wondered how you would have reacted? I wonder what I would be if I had been born 100 years earlier. I wonder what kind of pioneer I would have been. I wonder how strong I would have been in the face of persecution and violence.

On this special holiday we need to remember those weary, bedraggled pioneers who looked upon the desolate Salt Lake Valley. When the end of their arduous journey had come, joy that only they could understand filled their souls.

How would you have felt at that moment? How would I have felt? Would we have performed so valiantly? It makes you wonder.

For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.

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