Today I walked outside and saw the American flag waving in the front yard. There is a wonderful tradition in Alamo where the boy scouts put up flags on significant holidays. It was a nice reminder that we are honoring the pioneers that made a incredibly hard trek from their fertile, green homes in the East or even from their homeland in Europe to a hot dry barren desert. I am always so astonished to come into to Utah and realise how the Saints truly made the desert bloom. These people had to be brave and strong physically and spiritually to be able to make a journey like they did. Mom Bowman read us some of the stories about those in the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies the other night. They kept going when all hope seemed lost. I cannot help but get tears in my eyes whenever I remember the story of the three boys who came forward to carry many of the the already weary and frozen saints as they faced another formidable crossing of the Sweetwater River. Each boy that carried them across the river ultimately sacrificed their lives to save others. Even those pioneers that didn’t have to cross in the dead of the winter lost lives and comfort on the hot, dusty cross-country trip. I am grateful for my ancestors that were tough enough to get here and make life enjoyable despite the hardship. Also, I am also so impressed with the patriotism of the Saints even when their own government would not help to preserve their lives and homes. It would be very hard for me to not be bitter. I look forward to the day that I can shake hands with my pioneer ancestors and hopefully they will be glad to shake my hand back!