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The American flag is beautiful as it unfurls in the wind. I see freedom, hope, happiness, love and forgiveness in those stars and stripes.

It's upsetting to see a tattered flag flying over a business. I've made calls when I witness this. They are usually replaced promptly.

While citizenship chairman for the Hammond PTA, I was happy to replace large flags for schools with flagpoles. I was grateful to furnish smaller flags to classrooms, with the help of American Legion and VFW.

My son, Sgt. Fredrick B. King, came home from Vietnam, in a casket covered by an American flag.

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Groundskeepers were removing small flags from Freddie's grave. I found a ditch filled with flags and wilted flowers. A newspaper published pictures, and the removal of flags stopped.

Our flag stands for freedom!

I urge every American to respect it, stand up for it every chance you get.

- Ina Kizziah, Hammond

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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.