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Flag exemplifies the spirit of Americans

By By Sonny Callahan
U.S. Rep.
Earlier this year, as we celebrated our nation's 225th birthday, I asked that we each take a moment to look at our flag and reflect on its importance to this country.  I said we needed to reflect on the important freedoms that it represents for us and the sacrifices that have been made to preserve the liberties for which our founding fathers and ancestors fought so bravely and at such a great cost.
Since that time, the flag has taken on a much more visible role in our lives.  The freedoms that we all enjoy have been threatened, and we are faced with both making some difficult choices in the months ahead and some difficult times ahead as we fight to preserve our liberty against the threats of a new, unseen enemy.
Patriotism visible everywhere
Within a matter of a few hours following the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Americans everywhere rushed to hang a flag wherever a space could be found n on balconies, on store fronts, on the front porches of homes, and even on car antennae, windows, and bumpers.
Americans began to display the flag on hats, glasses, shirts, and even ties.  Tee shirts proclaiming pride in America and in our precious freedom were rolled out of print shops and clothing stores by the thousands.
We are witnessing an outbreak of patriotism that, while always present, has not been displayed in this magnitude in many years.
What is even more remarkable is the show of patriotism and support that we are seeing from our friends and neighbors around the world.
Someone recently shared dozens of photos of men, women and children in other countries displaying the American flag in a show of support for what we in this country are facing.
In many respects, this is not an unusual show of support from our friends overseas.  These attacksdid not affect just American citizens.
There were men and women from countries on nearly every continent who either lost their lives in these attacks, or who were deeply affected by the loss of family and friends working in the United States.
What is unusual is the degree to which this support is being demonstrated. 
Even in Pakistan, where the number of anti-American marches seemingly increases each day, there have been gatherings of people who are opposed to terrorism in any form, and have walked through the streets waving the Stars and Stripes in support of the United States.
Display the flag proudly
During this difficult period, my spirits have been lifted each time I see a flag displayed.  In the weeks and months ahead, as we engage and defeat the cowards responsible for terrorist activities around the world, remember that America is strong and the flag is still waving proudly.  And as long as we remember our history and fight to ensure our future, the flag will be around for a long time to come.
May God continue to bless each of you in the time ahead, your friends and neighbors, the president, and most importantly, may God bless America.