Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Our Heritage - Memorial Day Weekend

Kanab Cemetery - Memorial Day 2005
(Click on Photos to see a larger image)

On our way to Lake Powell, from St. George, we passed through Kanab, Utah. As we went past the cemetery, I noticed two columns of flags lining the main drive in the cemetery. The display was so striking to me, that I had to go back and take a pictures of it. I got out of the truck, and started snapping some photos. To my surprise, everyone else bailed out of the truck too. Dawn Ann remembered that she had some relatives buried there. So Dawn Ann and Amy started looking around the cemetery to find headstones of relatives. Bryan, on the other hand, wanted something to do, rather than just browsing around the cemetery.

Zadok Judd

We were able to find a few of Dawn Ann's relatives there. In particular, we found the grave of Zadok Judd. Zadok's sister, Mary Lois Judd Mitchell, was Dawn Ann's direct ancestor. They were born in Canada, and later joined the church in Ontario during the early 1830's. A few years later, they decided to gather with the Saints in Kirtland, Ohio, only to find out that Joseph Smith, and the Elders of the church had already moved on to Missouri. The family continued on in their quest to join together with the Saints, in a 1,000-mile trip to Missouri. Soon after arriving, however, they were driven from Missouri, and eventually settled in Nauvoo, Illinois. Eventually, they were driven from Nauvoo too, and began their trek to the valleys of the Rocky Mountains.

Mormon Batallion Insignia

Zadock, joined with the Mormon Batallion, which is noted on his headstone. There was a special insignia commemorating his status as a Veteran of the Mexican war of 1846-47.

Meanwhile, while we were finding and photographing headstones, Bryan located a fellow who was installing a headstone. Bryan learned how to use the block and tackle that the installer was using. Bryan lowered the 900 pound headstone in place, while the installer guided it into position. For Bryan, this something that really caught his interest, and was even fun for him.

Bryan Installing the Headstone

Both Dawn Ann and I come from a rich heritage. Our ancestors have been instrumental in the establishment of the Church, and the settlement of the American West. We also have ancestors who came to America starting in 1620, and who fought in the Revolutionary War.

Now our children inherit the heritage from both of our family lines: From pilgrims on the Mayflower, to Revolutionary War Veterans, to the earliest members of the church (both in the United States, as well as in Great Britain), to hearty pioneer forefathers who crossed the plains in covered wagons and even handcarts, to soldiers who marched with the Mormon Battalion - on both sides of the family. One ancestor who fought on the Union side of the Civil war. Our children's ancestors helped build both the Kirtland and Nauvoo temples. They marched in Zions Camp, at Hauns Mill they were shot at, and some died. They helped settle many areas of the intermountain West as pioneers. Another ancestor was a timekeeper for the Union Pacific Railroad, and was present at the driving of the Golden Spikewhen the first transcontinental railroad was completed at Promontory Summit, Utah.

We have a rich heritage in the church, and as Americans. It is our responsibility to teach our children of their heritage. They must know of the sacrifices which have been made to make this country, and to build the Kingdom of God on Earth. That is why we stop at little the cemeteries along the way. That is why we tell them their stories, and record them for future posterity.

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