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Displays of Patriotism

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July 4th, of course, is a day for expressing patriotism. Flags are flying, songs of freedom are sounding, and tonight there'll be a lot of fireworks. Yet, in this time of prolonged war, patriotic displays are not limited to this annual holiday.

We think especially of what we've seen in recent weeks with the emotional departure of more Utah-based reservists and members of the National Guard. In early June, for example, in Manti, hundreds of people lined the street for a parade to send off that community's members of the 145th Field Artillery before their deployment to Iraq. Many of the soldiers commented how such overwhelming community support, of seeing the stars and stripes everywhere, made their departure a bit more bearable.

Patriotism has also been on display, of course, when soldiers return - when families and loved ones are reunited. Such tender moments remind us of the sacrifices being made by so many in this time of war.

Most heartrending, though, are those poignant scenes of flag-draped coffins, which remind us that service to country far too often requires the ultimate sacrifice.

Yes, in times such as these, when wars are being fought, Independence Day is important to celebrate, but it isn't the only day when patriotism is on display.

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