Today, we slept in. We had the day off. We barbecued dinner. We even watched part of a parade.
We celebrated Pioneer Day.
It's our state's holiday, which is weird because it's not the day Utah was officially added to the United States. Our statehood date is in January and no one celebrates it. On this date, July 24th, in 1847, a group of pioneers came through a canyon and declared that the land before them wouldn't be wanted by anyone else.
So they stayed.
And because of the decisions made by men and women long dead, I slept in, didn't go to work, barbecued dead animals, and watched part of a parade. Volumes of books have been written--some stories are even true--about the pioneers. Movies have been made about them, buildings have been named after them, even schools bear the names. It's hard to understand the impact those brave souls have had on the world. I know my life would be completely different without them, same could be said for my wife. Therefore, my kids' lives would be something they wouldn't recognize.
I suppose it's not weird that our state holiday is not the day our state entered the union, but the day the pioneers settled in a valley after leaving it. It's so easy to look back and see how people changed the world. It's harder to look to the future and imagine ourselves doing it. But, in one-hundred and seventy years, will people look back at those of us living today and think we were amazing? Will they write stories about us, name buildings and schools after us?
I don't know, but I'll bet whoever is living here then will make any excuse to sleep in, take off work, and barbecue dinners. Parades, though--I'm sure those will be illegal.