The 24th of July.
It might not have the same ring to you as the Fourth, but the “24th” in these parts is just as popular.
July 24, 1847 is the day the first Mormon pioneers, of which my family shares history, entered and settled the valley of the Great Salt Lake. It is here that they felt they would find the refuge they sought and needed, outside of the U.S. borders.
They did not hate the U.S., but its courts and systems of justice had failed them. They needed to find a place away from it all, and this place that no one else really wanted, suited the call.
Utah is a patriotic lot, don’t get me wrong. There is a fierce loyalty and belief in this country that would match any other group. But the day our earliest settlers realized they had found the place for which they hoped and prayed, it’s was a true day of Independence that rivaled the one 71 years earlier.
And it still does.
Happy Pioneer Day.