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To me, Old Glory is a striking symbol of our American exceptionalism. That exceptionalism says our republic, divinely inspired and made permanent by the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, is the best vehicle ever devised for raising the condition of all men.

It is the flag that our servicemen and women have waved in battle, defending those founding principles of freedom, and it is the flag that is presented to the families of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

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Our freedoms must never be taken for granted. For me the flag, the heroes who have defended it, and the ideas it represents, continually renew my faith in our founding ideals, and inspires me to honor Benjamin Franklin’s charge to, “Keep the republic.”

- U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind.

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Porter County Government Reporter

Senior reporter Doug Ross, an award-winning writer, has been covering Northwest Indiana for more than 35 years, including more than a quarter of a century at The Times.