BYU, Holidays, Includes Story From Life of NLC, Patriotic, Provo History, Society

Lingering Thoughts of July 4, Bicentennial Events in Valley

Click to see original imageA few of many lingering thoughts about the Bicentennial year Independence Day Celebration here:

Seems to us an upsweep in patriotism was noticeable – partly attributable to the fanfare of the Bicentennial, but positive whatever the reason.

The “Big flag” trend seems to have captured a great deal of attention in Utah and nationally. Tallest flag pole, “biggest” flag, “heaviest,” etc.

Without debating dimensions, l’ll just say that the giant flag and pole Paul Ream has just installed at 200 West and 1350 North thrills us as we go to and from work – and the one the folks at Spanish Fork installed in the Flag Day period is equally exciting.

These people and others who have gone to the effort and expense of erecting flag poles an flying flags of any size for the benefit of the public deserve a big “thank you.”


In our judgment more flags were displayed by individual citizens in the Fourth of July period this year than in most previous years. Some stores which carry flags were all sold out before the Fourth. Congratulations to the many citizens – and in some instances entire neighborhoods – who saw that Old Glory waved from their homes.


The “bell-ringing” at noon (Mountain Daylight Time) wasn’t as widespread as it could have been. But it was a start. Coordinated on a national basis. the bell-ringing was designed to be at the precise moment the LibertyBell in Philadelphia proclaimed the independence of the new nation in 1776. Let’s do it again next year on a “bigger and better” scale.


A little sidelight on the bell-ringing. At Aspen Grove where the Young University Alumni Sumner Camp operates during the summer, “two-minute” pause was called in a religious service to participate in nation-wide bell tolling.

Branch President Douglas Doxey designated his ll-year-old daughter Cherilyn to ring the bell located at the mess hall some distance from the amphitheater where the service was in progress. Cherilyn did her job well. In fact she got so carried away with the exuberance of the occasion that she went well beyond the two minutes before a messenger gave her the word.


Folks in the vicinity of Second South and Third West, Provo, had a special treat in forenoon on the Fourth of July. An unidentified trumpeter stood on the sidewalk and played “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Some of the neighbors were deeply moved.

The incident was reminiscent of Robert Sauer, BYU bandmaster of several decades ago, and some of his students who would “serenade” their neighborhoods on holidays with patriotic numbers on the trumpet sometimes playing duets. Another custom we’d like to see revitalized.


Seems to us more and more church units are holding their own little celebrations – although participating in the community festivals also.

For example, the 13th Ward of Sharon Stake had an all-day festival of its own, with food, programs, displays, square dancing, etc. You name it – they had it!

Provo Stake’s activity was highlighted by a breakfast of in-immense proportions, we’re told.

Edgemont Stake had a beautiful sunrise service featuring the Utah Valley Symphony and Woodward Chorale. The stake officials headed by Pres. Richard A. Call wore costumes of early American patriots. In one highlight of the program, miniature liberty bells were presented certain folks of the stake and community for their role in perpetuating freedoms guaranteed by the constitution.


A final note: If you’ve never read the price paid by signers of the Declaration of Independence – the men who pledged their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor” – you’d be interested in an article, “They Put It On the Line” in the July American Legion Magazine. The article prompts extra appreciation for the courage and sacrifices of those patriots.