Provo aims to set pledge record

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    By Veeda Ware

    Provo will set off something more than fireworks this Fourth of July. More than 250,000 people will set a record for the most people reciting the Pledge of Allegiance simultaneously.

    All parade participants and spectators of America”s Freedom Festival Grand Parade will take part in “Operation Freedom Pledge.”

    More than 500 local Boy and Girl Scouts will line the parade route and stand at attention with a flag in hand.

    At 9:10 a.m., a minute-long moment of silence and reflection will occur. Talk show host Sean Hannity will lead the pledge at 9:11 a.m.

    Gene Manning, Chair of the Freedom Pledge said, “People are going to come away with a very memorable experience – I think, for many of them, one of those experiences in your life that you never forget.”

    The pledge will broadcast on the parade announcer speakers, police speakers and KSTAR 1400AM.

    Manning said he hopes the pledge will help the youth learn what patriotism is.

    “With almost 300,000 people united with them, the scouts will see how important freedom is,” Manning said.

    Trevor Unice, 14, from Provo, will represent Boy Scout Pack 724. He has participated in the parade last year with his school marching band, but said this year is more special.

    “The parade is always fun, but this year it will be cool because we will be part of the pledge,” Unice said. “We are doing it for a good reason. We are doing it for the war.”

    Manning said he also hopes the crowd will come away with a memorable experience.

    David Pratt, the chair of the Grand Parade Committee said, “This is simply a moment for all of us to honor a country that has given us so much freedom.”

    Parts of the Freedom Pledge will be broadcast on the Armed Forces Network to many of the soldiers overseas.

    “For people in the service, this is going to be awesome,” Manning said. “Being able to see these young boys and girls holding these flags while this huge crowd pledges allegiance.”

    He said the pledge will give people an opportunity to stand together and express gratitude for freedom.

    Erin Kingrey, Grand Parade Media Relations said through the pledge, “We want to reach the past, present and future representatives. That we may all join voices and show our support for patriotism.”

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