Vet saves Independence Day parade in Liberty

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Associated Press

Posted on June 30, 2014 at 7:01 PM

LIBERTY, Ky. (AP) — An Army veteran has saved an Independence Day parade for the small town of Liberty in central Kentucky.

Glen Phillips Jr. told The Advocate-Messenger (http://bit.ly/Twoi5g) that he couldn't believe it when he heard the parade had been canceled due to a "lack of interest."

Chamber of Commerce Director Blaine Staat said he made the decision only after holding two organizational meetings and having just three volunteers show up.

"At the first meeting on June 6, only three people showed up beside myself, and I talked to other people face-to-face and I wasn't getting a lot of enthusiasm," Staat told the newspaper. "We're a small town and the same people are called upon year after year. Our intention is always to do something people want to do but I don't like to ask people to volunteer for something they're not interested in.

"Me and three other people just couldn't get it done," he continued. "So, after conferring with the mayor, I made the call to cancel it."

Phillips complained about the issue on Facebook, and that started to drum up support — and volunteers. So the city gave him permission to organize the parade.

He has put out a call for participants who want to show their patriotic spirit.

"Independence Day is for everyone," Phillips said. "If you've got something patriotic, we want you in."

Although they don't have much time to plan, Phillips said he thinks the main idea will come across.

"We think that 238 years ago when our independence was declared that our independence was paid for then and over and over again by the sacrifices that have been made to protect our freedoms," Phillips said. "This is mainly about the kids. We want them to grow up the right way and understand and respect what our country is all about."

Phillips said something negative has been turned into something positive.

"There's been an outpouring of support and people willing to help out," he said. "The city really needed some relief and some new people to step up, and that's what's happening. It will all marry up with the big fireworks show at the end of the day and be a good thing for everyone.

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Information from: The (Danville, Ky.) Advocate-Messenger, http://www.centralkynews.com/amnews

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