With Veteran’s Day on Wednesday, it is fitting America’s Freedom Festival would unveil its new collector’s pin for 2020 celebrating veterans.
Each year for the last nine years, America’s Freedom Festival at Provo has produced a Freedom Pin honoring aspects of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, according to Bill Freeze, chairman of the Freedom Festival collector pins.
The 2020 Freedom Pin honors the men and women veterans of our U.S. Military.
On Monday, Freeze and Freedom Festival Executive Director Jim Evans stopped by Provo city offices to present Mayor Michelle Kaufusi with a pin, a yearly tradition.
“It’s always a pleasure to meet with those involved with the Freedom Festival, said Kaufusi. “This year it’s all the more poignant, given the hard times we’re in. But meeting with them today renews my hope and confidence that before too long Provo will be able to celebrate freedom the way we like to — loud and proud.”
Kaufusi added that she appreciates Evans and Freeze, as well as what countless others do for the festival.
“Normally in March prior to our Freedom events starting, we reveal the theme of our pin by stopping by the mayor’s office to officially pin her,” Evans said. “This year because of the virus situation, we were forced to cancel all of our events with the exception of the fireworks display.”
Evans added, “The last few years we have celebrated Veterans Day with a large program at Timpview High School. That event also needed to be canceled because of the increase of the COVID virus spread. However, this Veterans Day, we felt it very appropriate to finally stop by and pin Mayor Kaufusi with our 2020 pin honoring veterans.”
One of the big changes in this year’s Freedom Pin development was how it was designed.
“Our pin committee usually agrees in early December on the coming year theme,” Freeze said. “We then take that concept and ask the artist of our pin development group to design a pin for that theme.”
This year, Jim Evans asked the committee to let the students at our two high schools come up with their own unique designs.
“I was able to meet with the art directors of Timpview (Michelle Landers) and Provo High School (James Rees), and they enthusiastically offered the project to their art students,” Freeze said. “Six weeks later after several admissions by both schools, two designs were chosen by our executive board. The winning selections were Vienna Boyes from Timpview High School and Alyssa Churchill from Provo High School. Their designs were refined by pin designer Robison Brothers Fine Jewelry and both pin designs were then made.”
Normally the Freedom Pin is sold for $5 at the three-night “Hope of America” Freedom Festival event held at the Marriott Center at BYU in May. That event was also canceled.
“However, the Freedom Festival Executive Committee decided to give each member of the 2020 senior classes at Provo and Timpview a complimentary pin in their senior packet,” Freeze said. “They even included local Independence High. It was a big hit with the seniors and their parents.”
Freedom Festival Veterans Specialist Command Sergeant Major Randy Edwards also was given 150 Freedom Festival pins to give to local veterans hospitalized throughout Utah County.
According to Freeze, the Freedom board felt impressed finally to honor local first responders. Freedom Pins were given to Provo Police Chief Richard Ferguson and Fire Chief James Miguel to give to the men and women of their departments. Both chiefs seemed surprised by this gesture, but were very appreciative that the festival would remember and honor their service too.
“We owe a great debt to the men and women of our armed forces, that have served in the past and protected us and the precious freedoms we enjoy,” Evans said. “We will never be able to fully repay them for their sacrifices, but this Veterans Day we do honor them with this small gesture of appreciation.”
“Hopefully we can all remember this Veterans Day that the price of freedom is never paid,” Freeze said.