SALT LAKE CITY -- A number of senators from Utah County rose Thursday to support a resolution under consideration in the Legislature that would honor the date when legislation was introduced to add the words "under God" to the "United States Pledge of Allegiance."

The resolution, sponsored by Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, comes as the bill to add the phrase to the pledge was introduced 60 years ago on Feb. 10.

Osmond said the phrase was significant as it reminds citizens of the importance of how having a belief in God has played a role in the nation's history and will play a role in its future.

Sen. John Valentine, R-Orem, rose to support the legislation but only after another senator, Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, observed that Valentine's cadence of reciting the pledge each day in the Senate was different from the other lawmakers.

Weiler said he has found that Valentine does not pause when stating "under God" in the pledge like many traditionally do. He said he felt that all members in the Senate should follow Valentine's lead.

"There is no comma," Valentine said. "We are one nation under God. We are not multiple nations, not multiple parts, but one nation under God."

Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs, spoke in favor of the resolution as he said it reminded him of conversations he had with his grandfather, Ezra Taft Benson, secretary of agriculture under President Eisenhower and former LDS Church president. Madsen said that Benson was an advocate for adding those words to the pledge while serving in Eisenhower's cabinet.

Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, held back tears as she spoke in support of the resolution. She stated that any time taken to pause and acknowledge the flag was a positive action. She also stated the pledge is a pledge of allegiance to the flag and to those who had died for the flag.

Osmond's resolution received a favorable initial vote from the Senate. It will be heard once more in the Senate before moving to the House, should it pass favorably again.

-- Billy Hesterman covers the Utah State Legislature and local politics for the Daily Herald. You can connect with Billy by email at or by

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