Heritage to mountain people can easily be defined. It is where we come from, stories about those that came before us and our heritage also directs our future. The Daniel Boone Festival for the commonwealth of Kentucky is a festival of heritage. This area we call home has a rich history that was forged through determination and dreams.
It is the only festival of its kind that honors the pioneering efforts of Daniel Boone in the historic location of the Wilderness Trail. This history is the foundation of our individual communities and without the determination of those early settlers who crossed the Cumberland Gap and “pressed their way forward through the thickets” our history might very well have found us in 2015 still a part of the commonwealth of Virginia.
The Daniel Boone Festival is a real educational opportunity about this region for children and adults. While much of the conversation among friends during the 68th annual event will be about which concession food booth of home cooking has the best chicken n’ dumplings, the importance of the festival should highlighted each year, passing along this heritage and history.
Thinking about our modern times it is easy to become frustrated and overwhelmed with the complexity of life’s issues and the fast past at which information flows and things change. History serves as a great teacher about the struggles our pioneers faced and their courage to address the issues they faced.
With no cellular phones, walking to where you needed to go and then conversing to share what you had learned or heard was the communication connection in their time. A lesson from history would serve each of us well. The early pioneers had to work together. Early pioneers learned to agree and disagree yet they volunteered to help and to be of aid when their neighbors had a need.
Our future can be filled with dreams too, but it will take a rededication of our determination to work for the common good. Our heritage came at great expense which included the loss of life for those who traveled cutting, cleared and expanding the Warriors Path.
In honor of those who came before us, let us pause to take time to honor God as they did, for all things. Let us also pause and thank God for the opportunity we have to be pioneers of peace in a world where the experience has been lost along the journey.
Follow Tim Mills on Twitter @THMills.