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True patriotism shines in count

Lawrence Countians should always be proud to call this region home but perhaps never more so than they were on Tuesday.

Sgt. Justin Bradley Allen, the Coal Grove soldier who was killed in Afghanistan July 18, was laid to rest, prompting a public show of support and a rallying wave of patriotism across the community.

American flags and supporters lined Third Street and Marion Pike. Hundreds of people came out to show their love and support for the young man who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.

Rumors circulated all week that members of the Westboro Church from Topeka, Kan., a group known for its radical views and inflammatory actions involving soldiers’ funerals, was going to be in Lawrence County. But this community rose to the challenge to make sure that their support for this family and this soldier would drown out any opposition from this group.

Thankfully, they didn’t show up and opted to express their views elsewhere. The First Amendment affords them the right to do so, but also affords the rest of us the right to disagree and keep the focus on this fallen hero.

Each and every Lawrence County citizen should be proud of the support that was shown for Allen, his family and all our soldiers who make great sacrifices to stand up for our rights, our freedoms and our way of life.

The family will never forget the support and love shown in this most difficult of times for them.

Tuesday, we were proud to say we live in southern Ohio and we are proud to say that our patriotism is strong.