Tampa, Fla. – Republican National Convention announced the Color Guard and the names of the individuals leading the Pledge of Allegiance, Invocation, National Anthem and Benediction at Tuesday’s session of the Republican National Convention.
Color Guard: The flag will be borne by the Fourth Degree Color Guard of the Knights of Columbus, comprised of Knights from Connecticut and Florida councils.
National Anthem: New Jersey-born tenor Philip Alongi Jr., will perform the National Anthem, reprising his role from the 2008 convention. Alongi has performed more than a dozen major operatic roles across the United States, including in productions of Carmen, Madama Butterfly and La Traviata.
Pledge of Allegiance: Former Montana Gov. Tim M. Babcock and Korean War Marine veteran Tom Hogan will open Tuesday’s convention with the Pledge of Allegiance. A veteran of World War II, this will be Gov. Babcock’s 12th consecutive appearance as a delegate to the Republican National Convention. Babcock, who was Montana’s chief executive from 1962 to 1969, also served as the state’s National Republican Committeeman in 1996 and 2000.
Invocation: Rabbi Meir Y. Soloveichik of New York City will lead the opening prayer. Rabbi Soloveichik is director of the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University and Associate Rabbi at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in Manhattan.
Benediction: Rev. Sammy Rodriguez of Sacramento, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, will lead the closing benediction. Rev. Rodriguez is an ordained Assemblies of God minister and serves as senior pastor of New Season Christian Worship Center in Sacramento. He serves on the board of directors of several evangelical organizations including the Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, the National Association of Evangelicals, Empower 21 and Christianity Today.