The last time I wrote to you was Memorial Day weekend, a time of reflection and contemplation regarding the sacrifices of others. For me, Pioneer Day weekend brings similar feelings of introspection and gratitude for the sacrifices of the pioneers. These men and women left everything behind to travel to the Utah desert only on the faith and hope that life would be better in the end.
Even now, 173 years later, there are a lot of parallels between the experiences of the pioneers and our experiences. The pioneers were asked by their leaders to travel West, crossing rivers, plains and mountains. In our COVID-19 pandemic, we are being asked to wear face coverings. It seems to me like some people would rather be asked to walk across the Plains because the idea of a face covering is so simple.
I don’t keep it a secret that I don’t like wearing a mask, of course, it’s uncomfortable and sometimes not fashionable. But, like the pioneers, I do it because of my faith and hope that life will be better in the end and we can get through this time together. I was touched by the prayer given at the rodeo on Monday night, that we would become a united people. I have felt that instead of fighting a virus, we are fighting with ourselves.
If there ever was a time to harness our pioneer spirit and do hard things, that time is now.
I was thrilled to see our rodeo fans this week wearing their masks or bandanas. It was a joy to be back in the arena and seeing some of the best rodeo performances that I can remember. I cannot thank the state and county health department leaders enough for working with us over the past few months.
Specifically, I would like to thank Governor Gary Herbert, Lt. Governor Spencer Cox, and General Jeff Burton of the Utah National Guard. Because of these efforts and the precautions we put in place, we were able to have the rodeo and give our cowboys and cowgirls a venue to compete and perform.