Veteran’s outrage saves small town’s Fourth of July parade from ‘lack of interest’

An Army veteran’s dedication to duty has saved the Fourth of July parade for a town named after the holiday’s very essence.glenphillips0702new

Glen Phillips, a retired staff sergeant who served in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm, found out in late June that his town of Liberty, Ky., wasn’t going to be holding its annual Independence Day parade after too few people had volunteered to get it organized.

Phillips decided to take matters into his own hands.

“I thought to myself, something about this isn’t right,” Phillips told The Advocate Messenger.  “‘Lack of interest?’ That doesn’t sound like the Liberty I know,” he said.

But it was true.

Local chamber of commerce Executive Director Blaine Staat said only three people had shown up for two meetings to organize the event.

The city would still hold a 5K race, the ringing of the Liberty Bell replica and host a fireworks show, but the parade was out.

“We’re a small town and the same people are called upon year after year,” he told the Advocate Messenger. “Me and three other people just couldn’t get it done.”

Phillips thought that was because the meetings had only been advertised in the chamber’s email and in mentions on local radio. He took to Facebook, posting an angry message about a small town’s officials letting an important occasion drop off the radar.

That caused a stir – and ruffled some feathers – but in the end it got the parade going as local businesses have chipped in to supply food and refreshments for the festivities, which will include a wagon parade for kids along with the main event.

Volunteers are also being sought from local fire department, car and tractor clubs, motorcycle groups, 4-H clubs and other organization.

“Independence Day is for everyone,” Phillips said.

And not just in Liberty.

“Liberty, Kentucky, is America,” Phillips said on “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday. “Small-town America.”

Check out the interview here.  (Be warned, the audio runs out of sync with the video after a few seconds.)

 

Joe Saunders

Joe Saunders, a 25-year newspaper veteran, is a staff writer and editor for BizPac Review who lives in Tallahassee and covers capital and Florida politics. Email Joe at [email protected].

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