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For our military, and in their honor

One of the first things that come to mind when the fourth of July is mentioned is American Flags. This year on Independence Day, a special flag will be flown at a residence in Luverne.

Ellen Solomon will display an American flag that was flown over Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Solomon's nephew, Darrell Wilson of Tallassee, sent her the flag, which has a certificate of authenticity with it. Wilson is a mechanic in the Air force and has been stationed in Iraq since February.

Wilson sent three flags home to members of his family, all of which had been flown over either Iraq or Afghanistan.

The certificate of authenticity states, "Let it be known that this flag was flown into combat aboard a C-130 Hercules, tail number 85-0042, on the 18th of March, 2004 over the enemy skies of Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom."

Each soldier on the five-person crew that flew the mission signed the certificate. A picture of the crew standing in front of the flag was included with the certificate and the flag.

Solomon already has an American flag on her flagpole, which stands beside her house on West 3rd street, but she will fly this special flag on the fourth of July. She then plans to place it in a display case and keep it along with the certificate, which she intends to frame.

Solomon also has a yellow ribbon on her flagpole that she placed there in support of her nephew being stationed in Iraq.

"I won't take it down until he comes home," Solomon said.

Wilson's family expects him to come home sometime in July although Solomon said Wilson's date to leave Iraq could be delayed and his stay at home will not be a permanent one.

"If he does get to come home, it would only be for about a month," Solomon said. After that time at home, Solomon said Wilson would then be stationed in Germany for a period of time.

While Solomon loves her town, she said that she wished Luverne would do more to show appreciation for the military on patriotic holidays.

"I think the town should have a parade or do something special on these holidays," she said, while speaking of Memorial Day.

Solomon, whose father and two of her uncles fought in World War I, is proud of her nephew and stands behind the military as well as their position in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I'm an American and so I support our president and the military," Solomon said. "We've got to let them (terrorists) know that we are not going to be run over."

Solomon said it saddened her to see our country attacked as it was on September 11, and said that she would be glad to join the fight overseas herself. "If I could, I would go (to Iraq/Afghanistan) today," Solomon said.