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Family's 4th of July commemoration becomes popular celebration

By Paul Nelson  |  Posted Jul 3rd, 2008 @ 6:52am


Some of the biggest events start off small. That's what one Bountiful family has learned about their Fourth of July celebration.

Tomorrow morning, many Bountiful residents will flock to see what's becoming one of the most popular flag-raising ceremonies around. Is it at a library, or a military facility? No. It's just at some family's house.

Bountiful resident Jill Hill said, "Growing up, we had flag-raising ceremonies. It seems like they've done away with those."

Hill says she likes to start traditions, and boy did she and her husband start one here.

"It's kind of grown into a big thing for us, I guess," she said. I replied, "Well, yeah, you have to block off the entire street to do it." She answered, "Well, that's my husband's doing."

This is the eighth year the Hill family will hold their Fourth of July flag ceremony and pancake breakfast.

Tom Hill said, "It was in 1999, for Father's Day, Jill bought me a flagpole, and it began the very next Fourth of July."

Since then, that small family ceremony has turned into an event where roughly 250 people showed up last year. Tom Hill says all the planning and the work involved is well worth it.

"There's a little bit of work, but we have a lot of people that pitch in. We have neighbors that come on over here and flip pancakes," he said.

To accommodate the people that come to see the flag raising, 550 North will be blocked off from 200 East to Main Street. They have a speaker every year to talk about what it means to be a patriot. Fire crews will bring their big ladder trucks for the kids to see. Members of the Disabled American Veterans will act as color guard. It's a big production, and the neighbors love it.

One said, "There seems to be a nice spirit about the whole thing." Another said, "It's great, it's traditional, and it's American as apple pie."

Tom Hill said, "I think its really important to always remember why we've got it so good in the U.S.A. and not be arrogant about it. This is one way to recognize people who have paid the ultimate sacrifice."

Tom has no problem getting people in public safety to show up. He's the former Harrisville police chief, and he uses those connections to bring the right folks in. He sometimes worries the ceremony could become too popular, where he'd be prepared for 250 people, and 500 show up.


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