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Mormon pioneers were remembered during California Pioneer History Day Saturday, May 20, 2017. The annual event was held at Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma, California, where gold was first discovered January 24, 1848. Some members of the Mormon Battalion worked for Captain John Sutter after their release from their military duty and were involved in that discovery.
The event began with a parade that included a reenactment of the Mormon Battalion color guard.
Descendants of the Mormon Battalion and a wagonload of dignitaries participated in the festivities.
The California State Legislature declared Sunday, May 21, 2017, California Mormon History Day “for the purpose of informing Californians of the tremendous historical contributions made by the early pioneers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” stated the resolution.
California Assemblyman Tom Lackey presented a resolution to Elder Carl B. Cook of the Seventy, who accepted the recognition on behalf of the Church. Several Area Seventies also attended the pioneer celebration, including Elder Jay D. Pimentel, Elder J. Scott Dorius and Elder Paul Watkins.
“To be a pioneer, especially those who we celebrate here today, it would have taken intelligence, imagination, faith, determination and commitment to solve their problems and to overcome the challenges that they would have,” said Elder Cook. “Today we have challenges, we have obstacles, we have things to do. May we exhibit that pioneer spirit that they had as we go forward.”
Entertainers from the Galena Street East youth song and dance troop, now celebrating its 45th anniversary, performed throughout the day.
Pioneer reenactors entertained the crowds throughout the park grounds.
“We are … the California living history program today in the park, doing events for the public,” said Bubba Blair, adjutant and second in command of the Sierra Nevada Mormon Pioneersprogram. “We have 40 or 50 dedicated volunteers and almost as many called missionaries. It’s a service mission to teach Church history in California.”
Local Church leaders and members from 19 stakes participated in the event.