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On Sept. 13, 1814, Francis Scott Key watched the bombardment of Fort McHenry, discovering at daybreak that his American countrymen withstood the enemy’s assault. And what signaled their victory? Amidst the cannon flashes and beams of light cutting through the haze and smoke of battle, it was our nation’s flag that faithfully withstood the conflict below.

Nearly 200 years later, the American flag holds the same symbolism for me as it did the author of “The Star Spangled Banner.” With conflict raging abroad and domestic debate over the issues we hold most dear, it’s easy to fear the worst for America’s future. Yet amidst this chaos, the Stars and Stripes represent our ability to withstand these inevitable conflicts. When I look up from the distractions of the day, I find there is still an American flag flying, “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

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- U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind.

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