Love, patriotism roar from Stadium of Fire performances

Country superstar Keith Urban took the stage at the Stadium of Fire held at LaVell Edwards Stadium on July 4. (Addie Blacker)

The Stadium of Fire had Keith Urban, Flippenout, cheerleaders, dancers and hang gliders — everything necessary to throw a massive celebration in honor of America.

All of this made for a one-of-a-kind celebration, but that is not what impressed me the most.

As an outsider to the U.S., I have always seen how much Americans love their country — it’s not very difficult to figure out. The bigger, the better in the U.S. That is often seen in the form of lifted trucks, juicy cheeseburgers and loud music. What impresses me the most does not have anything to do with with the life that these inanimate objects bring to the U.S. What impressed me the most, is the spirit that is brought by people celebrating their country.

A paraglider hits the field donning red, white and blue at the Stadium of Fire. (Addie Blacker)

Before Keith Urban rocked the stage at the Stadium of Fire, paragliders shared the sky with fireworks, and patriotic tunes could be heard inside the venue. Once Keith Urban hit the stage, spotlights and electric guitars sounded alongside one of the most recognizable voices in all of country music.

Urban sang his popular hits like “Blue Ain’t Your Color,” “Parallel Line” and “Somebody Like You.” At one point during his performance, the country music star walked off the stage and into the crowd, performing in the center of screaming fans. He followed this up by taking his guitar off, autographing it, and giving it to a young lady in the crowd.

Urban repeatedly commented about how perfect the night was in Provo, also noting the fireworks outside the stadium that were being fired for hours straight — at no point did more than three minutes pass without the sight of fireworks lighting up the sky around LaVell Edwards Stadium.

An on-field performance by the popular trampoline group “Flippenout” joined Keith Urban in the Stadium of Fire. (Addie Blacker)

After Urban left the stage, “Flippenout” took the field and came back with one of their popular performances. Their show was space themed as honor was given to the U.S. space program and the 50-year anniversary of placing man on the moon. D-day was then given tribute with a tank on the football field and a video tribute to those who fought in World War II while fireworks filled the night sky.

This is what impressed me the most. Again, as a non-American, I understand that Americans are very patriotic. I always felt as if I was on the outside looking in because I don’t have any American heritage. It wasn’t necessarily that I felt as if people weren’t wanting me to feel included, I just never have.

During the 30-minute firework show that concluded the Stadium of Fire, many Fourth of July songs played, each celebrating the U.S. One of these songs stuck out to me. The tune was by Lee Greenwood, and the lyrics to this song were as follows:

A 30-minute fireworks show followed Keith Urban’s performance at Stadium of Fire. (Addie Blacker)
And I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free,
And I won’t forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me,
And I gladly stand up next to you
And defend her still today,
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land
God Bless the USA!
During this time, I felt overwhelming love for this country I currently live in. These lyrics didn’t separate me from my heritage and they don’t look down on any other country. Instead, they celebrate the U.S. and what its borders continues to give its inhabitants. I felt genuine love for America, appreciating the opportunities I have been given while living here.
Stadium of Fire did exactly what it came to do — bring pride, joy and love to the people of Provo. I will always love my home country — it would be impossible for that to disappear — but for perhaps the first time, or at least the first time that I can remember, I also felt my own sense of immense patriotism towards the United States.
Keith Urban steps away from the microphone for a guitar solo during his Fourth of July performance. (Addie Blacker)
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