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Bush: U.S. flag 'inspires hope'

By Associated Press
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 15, 2003

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine - President Bush asked Americans to mark Flag Day on Saturday by showing respect to the Stars and Stripes as a thank you to U.S. troops serving in foreign lands.

In his weekly radio address, Bush commemorated June 14, 1777, when the Continental Congress made the flag the symbol of America.

"It inspires hope in people suffering under tyranny or terror," said Bush, who taped the address in Washington before leaving for a long weekend at his family's seaside compound in Kennebunkport. "It welcomes immigrants from every land searching for a better life. And it rallies our nation in times of conflict and crisis."

Showing respect for the flag shows reverence for American ideals, a faith affirmed by Marines who planted the flag at Iwo Jima, and by the heroes of Sept. 11, who raised the flag in the rubble of Ground Zero, he said.

Americans also can show their respect for the freedom in their nation by volunteering to help fellow citizens, the president said.

"There are so many ways to improve the lives of fellow Americans: by answering the call to feed the hungry, or caring for the elderly, or teaching a child to read, or joining with neighbors to support the police, fire fighters and medics who respond to emergencies," he said.

"Every action you take will strengthen the bonds of community that unite all Americans, and extend the promise of American life to another citizen."

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