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City recognizes reenactors

FOLSOM, CALIF.

The Folsom City Mayor and City Council recognized the Sierra Nevada Mormon Pioneers, a part of the Living History reenactors operating under the Sacramento Multi-stake Public Affairs Council, on Dec. 10.

The group received two awards for their participation and presentation in the 2013 Wayne Spence Memorial Veteran’s Day parade in Folsom, Calif. They received a first-place ribbon and The Community Award of Excellence.

The Mormon Battalion reenactors participate in parades and historical events as part of the state-wide Latter-day Saint living history program.

The annual parade was started 13 years ago by a Church member, veteran Wayne Spence of Folsom. He felt that the veterans of all wars should be remembered, so he marched in Folsom’s first Veteran’s Day parade — as the only participant. From that humble beginning the annual event has grown to 294 entrants and 3,000 participants in 2013. Brother Spence passed away several years ago. One participant said, “It’s a shame that Wayne is no longer with us to see how much it’s grown.”

For ten of the 13 years, the Sacramento, Calif., living history group has marched to honor the Veterans of the 1846 Mexican-American war. This year 35 LDS men, women and children, with a two-horse team pulling a wagon and cannon, followed the parade route in period-appropriate attire. The women and children represented their counterparts as they marched along with the Battalion as laundresses, cooks, and family members.

When asked why the group participates in this parade, one veteran said, “The Battalion made the longest march in American military history forging wagon roads that are used to this day. They deserve to be remembered.”