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MSUM event-goers reflect on meaning of patriotism

Support, cooperation and a respect for the law are just pieces of what patriotism meant to several people on the Fourth of July. The Minnesota State University Moorhead campus was filled with children, parents and grandparents enjoying treats suc...

Support, cooperation and a respect for the law are just pieces of what patriotism meant to several people on the Fourth of July.

The Minnesota State University Moorhead campus was filled with children, parents and grandparents enjoying treats such as caramel apples, smoothies, ribs and popcorn - among other things. But amid the fun, some folks reflected on the holiday to share exactly what patriotism means to them.

"Patriotism means to me, just doing the right things for the country," one person said.

Others were more specific.

"Working with the country to make it better," said Steven Trautman, 39, who is a broker. "Not necessarily agreeing with the established government, but, you know, working to make life better in this country."

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Trautman's 17-year-old daughter, Rachel, added that she believes patriotism is about supporting the country to make it a better place to live.

Others, such as Joe Bennett, a 75-year-old who sat in his American flag shirt amongst people clad in American flag shirts, hats and other accessories, defined patriotism as following the laws and Constitution to protect the freedoms listed.

Clearly, people's perception of patriotism has several nuances, but their beliefs remain grounded in American soil.

Even if, on top of that soil a brightly colored clown walks around the MSUM campus with a sign reading, "Morning Paper" on one side and a roll of toilet paper hanging on the back side.

Tirrell Thomas can be reached at tthom@forumcomm.com

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