I am looking forward to the Town Days festivities we have planned for this year. We are fortunate to celebrate our city at the same time we honor our nation’s founders on Independence Day. This, combined with our state’s Pioneer Day later, makes July a wonderful time for remembering the sacrifice of those who have come before us.
During this month, I often think of Rev. Peter S. Raible’s poem regarding the gratitude we owe our ancestors and the obligation placed upon our shoulders to ensure we provide for the future.
We build on foundations we did not lay.
We warm ourselves at fires we did not light.
We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.
We drink from wells we did not dig.
We profit from persons we did not know.
We are ever bound in community.
Our nation’s Founding Fathers risked everything by signing the Declaration of Independence. “All men are created equal,” they wrote. And they laid the foundation of our great nation by proclaiming the “self-evident” truth that our liberties are given by our Creator, not the government.
Similarly, Utah’s early pioneers toiled to settle this valley and then welcomed all to join them despite previously being persecuted for their religious beliefs. Riverton City founders were among them plotting out Redwood Road and building bridges across the Jordan River. They tirelessly transformed the arid desert floor into a blossoming new home that we enjoy today.
Our freedom is inextricably tied to the sacrifices of those who came before us. I believe the best way to honor our ancestors is to emulate their example of carefully striving to preserve the blessings of liberty for our children.
This perspective guides much of my work as mayor. As our city grows, I want to safeguard Riverton’s way of life and ensure we are not burdened with needless debt and regulation. I am proud of our 2023-2024 city budget that once again, does not raise taxes. Our city’s future is bright and promising.
The last line of the poem gives meaning and purpose to the service and sacrifice of our ancestors. The truth is we really are bound as a community. The actions of one can affect all: either across generations or as neighbors across the street.
With freedom comes great responsibility. This is the lesson of liberty we inherit from the heritage of our nation, state and our city. Each of us has awesome power to help those around us and those who come after us.
May our community forever be bound in unity as we sustain freedom for the next generation.