Gov. Brian Sandoval: Celebrate history month as a family |

Gov. Brian Sandoval: Celebrate history month as a family

Gov. Brian Sandoval
Special to the Nevada Appeal

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m a history buff. I enjoy reading about historical events, and one of the things I enjoy most about being your Governor is the opportunity to be a small part of the history of our great state. My family and I appreciate the honor of living in the historic Governor’s Mansion – and I value the sense of history I feel coming to work every day at the state Capitol.

My love of history is one reason I declared October to be “Nevada History Month.” I think history should be shared. This particular month, when we celebrate the anniversary of Nevada’s statehood, is a perfect time to pause and reflect on what it means to be a Nevadan. I’ve heard it said that looking back is the best way to understand who we are. Where did we come from? Who have we become today? Where is our Nevada family headed?

As part of Nevada History Month, I’ve encouraged Nevadans to visit a museum or state park. The Nevada State Museum in Carson City turns 70 this year, while the new State Museum in Southern Nevada is slated to open over Nevada Day weekend. And from the nearby Mormon Station State Park in Genoa, to Beaver Dam State Park on the border with Utah, there’s plenty to be experienced in Nevada’s state parks system.

In addition, there are books to read, films to watch, and websites to visit – all filled with the rich history of the Silver State. Several of our universities and local museums also maintain outstanding oral history collections for the enjoyment of Nevada residents and researchers alike.

I hope families will sit down together and share stories about what it was like to grow up here – or to move here – and what changes they have seen. Nevada in the second decade of the 21st century is a very different place from the state my family moved to in the late 1960s. I enjoy talking with my children about how Nevada has changed; each one of us has a little bit of history to share.

In these difficult economic times, it is imperative we understand how much others have sacrificed to give us the opportunities we have today. Knowing what Nevada was like during the Great Depression, or what transpired in the fight for civil rights in the 1960s, helps us gain perspective on the challenges of our day. I do believe there truly is a Nevada family, and we would do well to understand it and embrace it for all that it represents.

In two weeks, we will celebrate Nevada Day with a parade and other festivities here in Carson City. The Governor’s Mansion will be open for tours on Saturday, Oct. 29. Kathleen and I hope to see you there.

In addition, this year’s Nevada Day celebration will include the inaugural Governor’s Banquet as a kickoff to the weekend’s observations. The banquet, to be held in Reno at the Silver Legacy on the evening of Oct. 27, is a prime opportunity for our Nevada family to come together and gain perspective on the recent tragedies in Northern Nevada. Proceeds will benefit the victims and families of the Carson City shooting and the Reno Air Races accident. It is appropriate that we pause and reflect on how these events, now forever a part of our shared history, have impacted who we are and what we want from the future. I encourage everyone to attend the banquet – or to spend a moment that weekend remembering those we have lost and those who suffered in these horrific events.

There’s an old saying that those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. This year, let’s make Nevada History Month an opportunity to learn from our past so that we can ensure Nevada’s best days really are yet to come.