House Speaker David Clark's opening remarks of the Utah Legislature

Published: Monday, Jan. 26 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

Text of remarks by House Speaker David Clark, R-Santa Clara, to the 75 House members Monday during the opening of the Utah Legislature.

With humility and gratitude I address you today. Before we commence, I feel that I would be remiss if I failed to express my appreciation for the many people who have loved and supported through life's journey to this — a position of reverent service. I have been blessed with parents who provided me with emotional and spiritual support. I do not remember an event (that I participated in) where they were not there supporting me. Being raised in a strong and stable family has given me purpose, grounding, and a context for everything I do.

My parents set wonderful examples for their children. Education was very important in our house. My father was the first in his family to attend college. He obtained his Doctorate, and for 35 years was a college professor at BYU. My mother was the first in her family to go to college obtaining her masters degree and becoming the first female Principal in the Nebo school district. I wanted to express to them the love of a thankful and proud son.

I also count, as chief, among my many blessings my wife, Nan. She has supported me in the pursuit of my many dreams and has made me a better man. Together, we have been lucky enough to have four wonderful children who have given us nine beautiful grandchildren. Some of whom led us in the Pledge of Allegiance today.

Becoming a parent has broadened my perspective and increased my appreciation for a great many things. Like all parents, my children taught me to care about things I seldom thought of before and gave my life a purpose beyond myself. I wish to express to them the love of a proud dad.

Thank you for indulging me.

Today marks the opening of the 58th Legislature. The first to be opened on the fourth Monday in January and not on the historic third.

Today, January 26th is a date, historic in its own right.

On this date in history:

1945-The Russian Army first reached Auschwitz and the world never looked at its self the same.

1948-Executive Order #9981 ended segregation in the army and America took another step on the path toward a world where everyone is judged on the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

1954-Groundbreaking of Disneyland and the world found the happiest place on earth.

1980-Israel and Egypt establish diplomatic relations ending the period of violence that began with the Six Day War.

1992-America Disabilities Act goes into effect and we found a helping hand was not as difficult as we first thought.

And on January 26th, 2009, for the first time ever in Utah, we the Legislature are making history by convening not on the third, but the fourth Monday of January. By doing so we hope to pay respect to the progress that America has made, and to man who helped define that progress, Dr. Martin Luther King.

As we enter into a new era nationally, I would like to welcome all of you to the beginning of the new 58th Legislative Session of this great State of Utah.

In every new beginning, one should remember the history of what came before so as not to repeat the mistakes of yesteryear. With that in mind, I want share with you the story of how this hill overlooking the city became Capitol Hill.

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