An open letter to theAmerica's Freedom Festival at Provo executive Board:
I attended today's parade, as I have for the past 20 years. I am always amazed at the number of people in attendance. I am also always impressed with the amount of work that is put into the planning and co-ordinating and pulling off such a celebration as the Freedom Festival.
Every year I am excited to attend the parade. I anticipate the moment the colors of my country's flag come into view. And each and every year I am overcome with emotion when I see that standard flying in the breeze. The red, white and blue bring tears to my eyes and I am grateful for those, (such as my 2 Marine sons who just came home from Iraq), willing to pay the price and sacrifice for me to remain free and able to display with pride those colors of our flag.
I also wait in anticipation to see who has the honor of carrying those colors, that ensign, that standard of liberty and freedom. And I am always excited for them that they got that honor. How thrilled they must be to be able to bear the colors the entire parade route and remind those in attendance that we are celebrating life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Imagine my disappointment this morning when there was no color guard, no standard bearer, in fact, no standard at all.
Again I was overcome with emotion, but this time it was saddness that there was no symbol of our freedom to honor and salute. There was also sadness that no one else around me seemed to realize that there had been no flag. How can they be so unaware when this very day was set aside to remember our freedoms and those that paid for it.
The next emotion I felt was betrayal. How could you, as the parade organizers, overlook this most important part of our Freedom Festival. Yes, I know there are a lot of things to do, a lot of entries to sort through and line up and make sure the marching bands are not next to the horses but still spaced just right and the floats are not bunched and so many things that I do not even know need done. But this should have been the first parade entry secured before any other was accepted and place. How dare you take my flag from me.
The final emotion I felt was anger. It is these very small things that have allowed so many of our freedoms to be stripped from us. We no longer require our students to stand for the pledge every day. Our citizens no longer know the words to our national anthem nor do they know and understand the actions that were behind the writing of that poem. Nor do they know and understand the basics of our flag act and the proper way to display and honor our flag. And your behavior in not having a color guard is another step down the path of citizens that do not seem to care. If we as citizens do not wake up and make our voices heard, it will not be long before the display of our standard of liberty and freedom will not just be an overlooked or forgotten thing, but a forbidden thing.
I do not know why there was no color guard to begin today's grand parade. It may have been deliberate or it may be an oversight, overlooked in the myriad of other tasks needed to be done to move the festival along in the wonderful manner that you do each and every year. However, I would like to register my complaint that there was no color guard this year and I am hurt, saddened, betrayed and angry.