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    Posted June 13, 2014 by
    Staten Island, New York
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Photo essays: Your stories in pictures

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    The U.S. Flag - my obsession


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Dawn Russell is a secretary from Staten Island, New York, with a special place in her heart for the American Flag.

    Russell says, "I love the American Flag and all it stands for. No, I am not a fanatic, but I really do love the way it waves in the wind and love this country, even with all its faults."
    - taliaday, CNN iReport producer

    I love taking photos of the American Flag. Everytime I see one waving in the wind, I can't help but stop and thank my lucky stars that I was born in these United States of America. Do we have problems? Yes, we do! I admit it! But I think we have less than many countries and we try to work them out as best we can. Do we have freedom of speech? Well, not as much as we used to, but I'll still take it! My biggest problem is with people who refuse to partake in the Pledge of Allegiance. I grew up saying the Pledge of Allegiance in school every day. When people want to make a statement by not participating, I get angry. If you have a problem with the United States and the way it is run, then work on that. It is still a great country and still deserves our respect. If you were born elsewhere and don't feel you should have to participate, well, if you don't WANT to participate, then maybe this country isn't for you. If you find a better place, LEAVE. We need people who WANT to be part of the United States and not just here for financial gain. Being in this country should mean that you wholeheartedly believe it is a great country, or at the very least, could be a great or greater country with loyal citizens. Yes, you can still stand up for what you want to change. Yes, you can still disagree with the government on certain topics, but your loyalties should still be with US (United States). People leave their countries because there are problems, rather than staying, fighting and fixing those problems. Then they come here and expect everything handed to them on a silver platter. Americans have fought to keep the United States a great country and it is a never-ending battle.
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