We all have our free agency and God holds us accountable for the way we use it in thought and deed. "Kindness, compassion, and love are powerful instruments in strengthening us to carry heavy burdens imposed without any fault of our own and to do what we know to be right." Elder Dallin H. Oaks
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America’s Freedom Festival at Provo organizes and sponsors patriotic celebrations throughout the year, not just in July. Be sure to keep your family and friends up-to-date on our new and exciting events each month!
Nathan Osmond films music video for patriotic ballad on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
By Dana Ferguson -| The Salt Lake Tribune
Nine flags waved over the desertlike landscape of the Bonneville Salt Flats this week, as Nathan Osmond tapped the return key on his laptop and sent pre-recorded melodies over the great expanse.
The country singer and his band proceeded to rock out, attempting not to trip over the uneven terrain.
Nathan Osmond and his band filmed scenes for Osmond’s new music video “Stars and Stripes” on Wednesday, June 27, on the Utah Salt Flats. The video is set to be released next week.
A hodgepodge crew of musicians and producers gathered on the Bonneville Salt Flats to film scenes for Osmond’s single “Stars and Stripes.” All the while, onlookers stopped at the rest stop just up the hill to check out what was going down below.
Band members pounded steel rods into the rough ground while videographers wrestled with their equipment. Filming began about an hour and a half later than expected Wednesday evening.
Osmond wrote the song to honor military families. “I’m just thinking what’s on my heart,” he said.
In other staged scenes, the video will feature Robert and Krista Iverson and their children. After hearing the country ballad at a recent concert, Krista Iverson volunteered to participate in filming the music video. “We heard it and we thought it really captured some of the experiences we’ve been through,” Iverson said.
Robert Iverson was awarded a Purple Heart after his tank was attacked in the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Marine officer said he appreciates the message of gratitude Osmond’s song sends to troops, veterans and military families.
“We traveled a lot of miles, we killed a lot of people, we went back to our camp and started all over again the next day,” Robert Iverson said. “It was really rough on us.”
The music video is one reminder of the sacrifices of soldiers serving overseas. “I really appreciate what [Osmond] is doing putting the military back on the nation’s conscience,” Iverson said. “So many paid the ultimate price. I’m honored to just be associated with those people.”
Families at home also face significant struggles, and in the music video Krista Iverson is pictured praying for her husband, awaiting his return.
Note: Nathan will be performing this song at “Stadium of Fire”on July 4th at BYU’s Lavelle Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah prior to Scotty McCreery and The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Celebration!
I’ve been working with my friends to celebrate our freedoms and liberty of this great nation and preparing for a wonderful finale to our multiple week of patriotic events leading up to the 4th of July. As a member of the board of trustees of America’s Freedom Foundation we produce many patriotic events and as citizens we spend time remembering how blessed we are as a nation when we turn our hearts to God and give thanks for those who gave their lives in defense of our freedoms!
This nation of America is a “promised land”and will be blessed as long as we remember those sacred covenants andpromises that were made to God by our forefathers. Covenants are two way promises and we cannot expect our God to continue to bless our nation if we forget to keep His commandments and to love one another in order to receive His blessings.
Joining Brad is Alan Osmond, the creator of Stadium of Fire
and from left to right, Alan’s son, Alex and his friend Jessica,
Alan Osmond and Brad Paisley, Alan’s son Doug and
grandson Max in front.
Also co-starring David Archuleta!
By Brooke Ward
Even before the fireworks went off, the 31st annual Stadium of Fire was ablaze with pride and patriotism as nearly 50,000 gathered in celebration of country and honor.
Hosted by former Cougar and NFL tight end Chad Lewis, the festivities started on Saturday with a commemoration of the Civil War and a dramatic musical interpretation of the Gettysburg address, followed by the chorus’ rendition of “Proud to be an American” as the flag was brought into the stadium by parachuters.
The event, broadcast live to U.S. troops around the world through the American Forces network, also provided an opportunity to remember those still fighting to protect the great American ideals.
“The greatest casualty of war is being forgotten,” said Lewis, quoting a soldier he summated Mount Kilimanjaro with earlier this year. “Tonight we honor all those in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
The national anthem began with a video of then 13-year old David Archuleta’s 2003 performance at the Stadium of Fire. Then Archuleta emerged to finish, aided by the pyrotechnic dramatization of bombs bursting in air.
Donned in patriotic plaid, Archuleta retook the stage a short while later amidst a roar of audience appreciation.
“It’s crazy how many there are of you guys out there,” Archuleta told the crowd as he thanked them for all the support they’ve shown. “I love being home.”
Archuleta’s short set included a handful of songs from his two studio albums, and a special dedication to the troops that earned him a standing ovation.
Thunder, unheard since the football season, filled the stands as the stadium lights were brought down for Brad Paisley’s entrance. On their feet before he even hit the stage, the crowd got right into Paisley’s set, dancing and singing along.
Although not very talkative on stage, Paisley paused to honor the servicemen overseas, and wish the audience a happy Fourth of July weekend.
“It’s nice to see all your smiling faces,” Paisley said. “I’m so happy to be here. God gave us a great night for a concert.”
In less than an hour on stage, Paisley was able to give the audience a mere smattering of favorite hits from his musical catalog, and left them wanting more in all the right ways.
“He’s a consummate professional,” said Jenny Long, who came from Colorado for the show. “I could have listened to him all night.”
BYU graduate Stephen Jones was also on hand to help bring an end to the five-month search for the Stadium of Fire’s first annual talent contest winners. Drawn from more than 400 entries, three finalists had the opportunity to perform on the Stadium of Fire stage, including BYU’s own alt-rock garage band The Whits and 11-year old Eve Asplund of Farmington, who was out to prove that she has a musical future as sparkly as the sequined shirt that she wore on stage.
Voters overwhelmed the text messaging system, forcing Jones and Lewis to think quickly.
“Let’s hear it for breaking the system,” Jones joked with the audience as Lewis pulled out a decibel meter to determine the winner “the old fashioned way,” by volume of cheers. A few deafening moments later, age, experience and honest-to-goodness country music won out, and Artie Hemphill and the Iron Horse Band were $10,000 richer.
Capping off the evening was “America’s largest stadium fireworks show,” a half hour of tightly timed explosions of light and color set to popular and dramatic music.
By the end, it was impossible to pinpoint a favorite part, said 5-year-old Brooks Udy, a second-time Stadium of Fire attendee.
“Everything was too good,” Udy said. “It was better than Disneyland.”
“I’m not even from the United States and I feel like a proud American tonight,” said Rhys Clarke, a visitor from England. “The way that Americans demonstrate their patriotism is so special and unique.”
Cedar City’s Brian Brown said recognizing Independence Day is all about the liberties enjoyed in America, and how they were achieved.
“For me, the Fourth of July means freedom and sacrifice,” Brown said. “Celebrating like this just brings up the emotions.”
For Moriah Ihler of Malad, Idaho, one of more than 1,000 Stadium of Fire dancers, the evening even provided a glimpse into her potential future.
“I want to be a Cougarette,” explained Ihler, 17. “Yesterday was a long day. We spent a good 12 hours outside rehearsing, but this was just incredible. Just to be on this field dancing gave me that extra push.”
The night also included a tribute to the 2010-2011 BYU men’s basketball team, which Lewis pointed out ranked No. 1 nationally for the combination of winning percentage and graduation rate, and coach Dave Rose. In his six years with the team, Rose has amassed 159 wins and just 45 losses.
“And he beat pancreatic cancer while he was at it,” Lewis said.
The tribute included a special video message from Jimmer Fredette, thanking his former coach and teammates, several of whom were in the audience.
“It was nice to have him be a part of this, even though he’s in Sacramento,” said former teammate Brock Zylstra, who enjoyed the show with his wife.”This was my first time at Stadium of Fire and I loved it. Back home we watch the fireworks in a high school football field. This display was probably 10 times better.”
Alan Osmond said, “This was the 31st year since I created The Stadium of Fire Fireworks and Patriotic Event that celebrates Family, Freedom, God and Country . . . and what a great show it was tonight! There were a few hundreds of thousands of spectators that watched the fireworks from outside the stadium as well as millions around the world on the Armed Forces Network. This event brings out the best of America with its thousands of families that attend, the many volunteers and sponsors that believe in those principles and values of this event and The Freedom Festival for which we stand. This is a good reminder that we must STAND UP, SPEAK OUT, and CELEBRATE those Freedoms that we enjoy and to ALWAYS protect them. Let us never NEVER forget our forefathers that fought and died for our freedoms and the Constitution that protects those rights and freedoms that was inspired of God. This is why we celebrate!”
“And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.” 1 Ne. 17: 38
Remembering all of those great years! The Osmonds 2nd Generation pay tribute to their father, Alan, who created the biggest 4th of July stadium spectacular in the nation; Stadium of Fire. This was their segment as part of the 25th anniversary celebration 2006.