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SallyT On July - 4 - 2014

The Flag (2)

This is our flagpole and our country’s flag.  We did not put up the pole.  It was here when we purchased the house.  It was erected after the United States entered into the battles of WWII.

The owner of the house, at that time, had the misfortune of having the first name of Adolph and from German ancestry. People were narrow minded enough to think that name and where he and his parents came from made the man. He was stared at and whispers heard as they passed. He was harassed.

So, to prove to these small minded people that he was an American and supported his country, he put up this flagpole and flew the flag daily.  There are people today that are still of narrow minds. That have forgotten that our country was founded by immigrants from many nations.  Part of my ancestors were already here when that migration began.

Some, including me,  pledge allegiance to this flag and some do not because they find that against their principles or religion.  That is their right and their choice.  Some make a big deal about “one nation under God”.  I don’t have a problem with that, yet, I can understand why some may.  There is a separation of church and state.  There is a purpose for that and it was including in the documents governing the nation at the time of its forming.

No one’s religious beliefs trumps the laws created for all. Those that think it is necessary to have those words and find fault if someone believes as I mentioned, need to remember this: those words were not added until 1954 to show the world that we differ from the Communists.  I guess they thought us Baby Boomers would grow up not knowing the difference. But, those men and women that fought in those wars, WWI, WWII, and the Korean War, did not need those words to fight for their country.  They honored that flag with their lives and carried their beliefs with them into battle, whatever they were.

Today, men and women still are servicing our nation, represented on the field by them and our flag. We should never send them into battle without negotiations and all efforts to keep them out of harm’s way and to always bring them home. Once home, give them the care they need for as long as they need it.  A nation that should never turn its back on any in need.  The young, the old, the disadvantaged. Because tomorrow it could be one of us or someone we love.  Don’t allow any to turn us against one another because some may be different or in a different place or of a different choice than we are.  We are one nation.

Our founding fathers took on the mightiest nation at that time, not because they didn’t love their mother country but because they believed they were not being recognized and rights limited.  They wanted freedom from tyranny, a King that was the church and its authority.  They wanted liberty for all and because they thought they could make a better country for themselves and for those to follow.

We are a nation of laws.  Most with Greek and Roman principles. Laws that are to encompass all citizens rights, not a few, and with choices.  A democracy. We are not just a Christian nation. That is but one of many beliefs that our country’s people have and that includes those that do not believe in a faith besides the one they have in themselves. Freedom to believe in what brings you peace of mind. Their spiritual choice.  Freedom to gather and worship and freedom to be alone and meditate.

Today we fly our flag for you, Mr. Adolph Kline, and all the veterans and all the citizens of the United States of America.  But, primarily on July 4th, we fly that flag in honor of those brave men and their families, our founding fathers, that took a chance on building a better place, a better country, a fair nation for them and all its citizens.  A work that did not stop with them. A building that will never be done. We build ahead, not back, and continually because of them.  And, our flag, long may it wave.

Written by SallyT

Retired, not by choice but the body said sit down! Married with two grown daughters and 3 grandchildren. Best friend is Mansion, my great dane. Love to laugh, love to make someone laugh, love to make new friends. I think I am a lot of fun but you can be the judge of that.

57 Responses so far.

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  1. Zeke says:

    Thank you for this article, Sally. It struck a chord with me as my grandfather emigrated from Germany after the war. He too had a flagpole in his front yard and for decades he was diligent in raising and lowering the flag on a daily basis, providing the weather was nice.

    My grandfather was the hardest working man that I have ever known and likely will ever know. I just wish his work ethic had rubbed of on me. We miss him terribly, but life goes on.

    You article was a fantastic hat tip to all of our veterans past and present. We all need to ensure that these men and women who serve this nation return home to the care they need and DESERVE.

  2. Hey Buddy! I’m really glad you decided to post your story today. It’s such a great reminder of what this country is about and how, even though so many “foreigners,” were treated with suspicion and ridicule, they still believed in America. Many of those good people actually enlisted and fought for this country, despite the prejudice.

    Your story reminded me of the young men and women who were born in America, to Japanese immigrant parents. They enlisted in all branches of the American military during WWII, even when their parents were suffering in the internment camps. That’s how much they believed in their country of birth. It just boggles my mind when I think of such selfless devotion.

    One such regiment, made up almost entirely of the sons of Japanese parents was The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, an all-Nisei U.S. Army regiment which served in Europe during World War II. The 442nd arrived in Europe after the 100th Infantry battalion (another group of Japanese Americans) had already established its reputation as a fighting unit. In time, the 442nd became, for its size and length of service, the most decorated unit in U.S. military history.

    • SallyT says:

      Hi Buddy, Mr. Kline would have been too old to serve. But, I know of all you are talking about. My uncle was of German parents and he spoke very good German. And, he joined right up. He was one of those that interrogate the Nazi SS when they were captured. He did have stories to tell about that!

      I hope you are having an enjoyable 4th. Thank you for taking time out to read and comment. You know I am always looking for you. Be safe!

      • sillylittleme says:

        My dad was in France during the surge toward Germany. He spoke French so was assigned to a general who went from town to town clearing out the mines that the Germans had planted. The townspeople were so grateful, he said that they ate and drank very well. He also had a Mauser that was given to him by the general, they took it from a German soldier that they had taken into custody. Wish he had written something about his experiences. Certainly far different than the hard work so many had to do in the field of battle. He had been declared 4-F but wanted to serve.

        • SallyT says:

          SLM, my dad was 4F for 2 reasons. One was a leg slightly shorter than the other (nothing he even knew until they told him) and the other was that he was a farmer. They did not like to take the farmers because they were needed here they told him. My mother had 6 brothers that all went and all returned. The uncle I spoke of above was married to my mothers sister. She, in fact, had 3 brother-in-laws that went and also returned. They were a very lucky family in that respect. But, my dad did drive heavy equipment, too, and did help in the building of army camps in MO, KS, IA, and Nebr.

  3. SearingTruth says:

    Indeed gentle friend SallyT.
    ST

    “One of the greatest tragedies of our existence is that we are a people united by so many common goals, but divided by so many uncommon beliefs.

    I believe that our goals are more important. We all want to be free. We all want our children to be healthy and happy. Most all of us want peace so long as our own rights are protected.

    These are the ideals that we can all strive for together. These are the threads of humanity that cannot be torn apart.”
    SearingTruth

    A Future of the Brave

    • SallyT says:

      Why thank you, ST. Very nice of you to share those words of wisdom. Much appreciated. The 4th of July is because of brave men and maybe a little reckless and certainly fallible that took the chance to find that happiness. We are left to maintain the freedoms and continue to reach more goals. Building even higher while others try to tear it down. The worst is when we allow ourselves to be used against one another by those that have already reached the top. They are only using us for them to remain there and not to pull us up.

      I hope you are having a great holiday, ST. Thank you so much for stopping your celebrations to read and comment. Meant a lot to me!

  4. Kalima says:

    So now dear Planeteers, I have to leave you as it’s my Saturday morning, the house needs cleaning, and somebody has to do it. Stinky litter boxes and all. :(

    Have a great what is left of your 4th of July celebrations, and see you soon. Take care.

  5. SueInCa says:

    Thanks Sally, very good post. It is kind of ironic that yesterday I ran in to an opposite kind of situation. It was a lady of Japanese descent who was very definitely against African Americans. I told her that a few decades ago, it was her ancestors on the firing line, being blamed for something their “country of origin” had done, and not them. I further told her that during that time Japanese WERE Americans and they definitely did not like how they were treated, justifiably so. She told me that was the old days and now things are different. So only a few generations removed from bigotry against them, here she was saying that did not matter? I just shook my head and stopped talking but I was amazed that she thought it not relevant.

    This morning I watched the AJA series, Borderland. There were 6 people from different walks of life and perspectives who took the journey to learn the stories of people who died trying to get to this country. There was a young lady from Arkansas who was the Leader of the Young Republicans and a young black lady who did a fashion blog out of Nevada. I was totally prepared to dislike the young republican as her initial intro sounded so very “valley girl Republican” and prepared to really like the black woman who was more liberal. The opposite happened. The young woman from ARkansas had a life changing experience and the young black lady really learned nothing. The Arkansas young lady admitted to her prejudice and made changes, the other woman did not. It turns out she was also very prejudiced against these people from Latin America.. She made a statement that Italian people came here, as did other nationalities, and they all spoke English. I wanted to reach in to that tv and ask her if she had ever been to little pockets of this country where immigrants from like countries gathered, lived and worked because the comfort of family, their traditions and their native tongue helped them to survive in a new country. It was very disappointing but I saw first hand that people can change and sometimes it is the least likely one who surprises the most.

    The point of this is I do hope that Adolph and his family were able to let the prejudice fall by the wayside and I hope that Americans, at some point, apologized for their actions.

    • SallyT says:

      Sherlock, some people forget what some went through to get us where we are now. I sure hope the young women have studied history enough to know what was fought to get them to the place we are now and how dangerous it is if they don’t get out and vote the democrats into the House and keeping the Senate. It is going to take them or we will be going backwards not forwards.

      Mr. Kline’s middle name was Edward and he asked people to call him Ed or Eddie after all this. He was a good man and it was through neighbors that had lived here or heard the stories that we learned of the flagpole. Most of those neighbors are gone now as they were old even then when we moved in. Hell, Sherlock, Mr. T and I are now one of the oldest in the neighborhood. After 30 years in one spot, I guess that happens. But, they told us that he was really hurt during that time. However, there were people that stood up for him, like you do for me, Sherlock. He got past it and stayed in the house until he died. Sometimes I think he is still here. But that is another story.

      Thank you, Sue/Sherlock, for taking time out of your day to stop and read my story and to comment. I do not have to watch AJA because I know us and I am sure I would have seen it as you. Love ya, Sherlock. And, Dr. Watson is on call.

  6. Kalima says:

    Hello Sally, nice post.

    In a way I envy you all as I no longer have a country I can truly call home and feel proud of.

    I haven’t lived in the country of my birth and childhood for many decades even though I have visited relatives often. My adopted country is going to the dogs run by incompetent Tories out to privatise everything that isn’t fastened down, coddling their rich friends, starving the poor, taking healthcare and education away from the needy and elderly and poor children.

    The third country I now live in doesn’t give me a voice because of course as a non citizen I can’t vote out the RW thugs who now want to continue with nuclear power even after our 2011 disasters, and now want to change the Constitution so that they are freer to use the military even though they are forbidden to have a standing army since after WW2.

    So after reading your post, and many of the comments around the site of the pride they feel for their nation, warts and all, I started wondering how it would feel, and decided that I really do miss it.

    • SallyT says:

      Kalima, a woman without a country? Nah, you can celebrate with us anytime, any place. We are all citizens of the Planet. Boy, Kalima, it sounds like the Right Wing is everywhere around you. The Tories and the Republicans have the same face, for sure. And, your Abe is nothing like our Abe.

      You are no woman without a country. You are a woman and that makes you a powerful entity no matter where you are. And, don’t you forget it!

      Thank you for reading my post and always a big thank you for all you do for me and the funnies! Have a great day just because the sun did come up!

      • Kalima says:

        Thanks Sally, don’t worry, I’ve made my opinions known since I came here to those who listen, and those who don’t. When I see injustice I speak up, and they would have to cut my head off to stop me.

        One thing I will do next year is cast a vote against those thieving Tories in the GE, here we will have to wait for more voters to take an interest and vote Abe and his henchmen out. There have been more protests here in the last few years than I can remember in all the years I’ve lived here. I have hope.

        Yes, a citizen of the world is what I feel I am. :)

        • SueInCa says:

          Kalima

          I have noticed the protests more and more as well. I heard that someone set themself on fire this past week? Is that true? I also thought a standing military was against the constitution that America drafted for the Japanese after WWII and that was a condition of surrender. It would be so sad to see Japan go to the right like the UK and some here would like it. Japan has been a country of progress and technology for so long, a turn to the right would seem to put all of that in jeopardy..

          • Kalima says:

            The Abe government is losing popularity Sue, many are now protesting almost every month against nuclear power, and also about changing the Constitution. It’s only the Far Right who are pushing it, and although they make a lot of noise, they number very few. Sound familiar?

            • Kalima says:

              The President there now is the daughter of a very tough general. She hates Japan and wastes no opportunity to say it in public

            • SueInCa says:

              Oh dear lord, does it ever sound familiar. I am not sure who the President of South Korea is now but they had a Dominionist as their President when a friend of mine went over there in 09 to teach English.

      • Nirek says:

        Sally, I concur that Kalima is one of us , we are all citizens of this world. Kalima has helped create this Planet and we owe her a debt. I think you feel the same way.

    • sillylittleme says:

      I’d love to see you do a piece on nuclear. I have a friend, who despite evidence to the contrary and I have sent him every science based article I could, who is convinced nuclear should be part of any new energy policies we implement. And he peeved off a number of people at our favorite watering hole yesterday arguing with me. He didn’t admit it, but he didn’t read a bit of what I sent him.

      • Kalima says:

        Hi slm, when our disasters happened in March 2011, I braved the strong aftershocks which lasted through to the end of the year, to give daily news and links in my Morning Blog. I still do it now although not every day for many reasons, one of them being that I can’t see much out of my left eye, and the other because I often have difficulty typing because of a chronic illness, so tackling more than a few paragraphs is a challenge for me, but thanks for the suggestion.

        If you are interested in news from here, or international news, option pieces and human interest stories, you can find me on MB every Thursday and Sunday. I’m in the Features box above the Recent Comments and Recent Posts to the right of your screen.

        The problem is real, the company TEPCO and the government are lying, and we have had radioactive hotspots as far south as Tokyo.

        Here is the link.

        http://planetpov.com/2013/11/20/morning-blog-11-20-13/

        • SueInCa says:

          Kalima

          I watched a lot of the news surrounding the 2011 quake but I found a you tube online that really spooked me. The guy was filming outdoors in the Chiba(?) area of Tokyo and showed the ground opening up and shifting back and forth. Pretty soon the area was filling up with water and the water actually sounded like wave action. As that is a reclaimed area, it really spooked me to think what could happen in repeated quakes of 7 or more. I would think liquefaction might take place after a while? I know it is weird but that really freaked me out thinking of the total destruction of life and property if it went. Here is the vid I watched:


          • Kalima says:

            That’s the main problem with reclaimed land, Sue and it’s been going on for decades, but people continue to build on it or rebuild in the same spot where their house was destroyed by a landslide. It shouldn’t be allowed because we get a lot of torrential rain here , and if Tokyo had no buildings, it would be a lush jungle because our heat last from May to October.

        • sillylittleme says:

          Thanks. I’ll be sure to give it a look see. He keeps/kept arguing that because there were so few deaths that it couldn’t possibly have caused much harm. Apparently his ideas re: disasters is solely based on the body count. Oy vey!!

          • SueInCa says:

            I totally agree with your comment below. It is irritating when a person who might otherwise be smart or even brilliant proves to be so clueless on another subject.

          • Kalima says:

            Deaths from radiation can take up to 10 years and of those working and living directly near the Daiichi plant, there have been many deaths due to exposure. If you count the suicides of farmers having to cull their cattle, and those living for years in temporary housing, the count continues to climb. School grounds, homes and land are contaminated so that many can never go home again.

            Maybe your friend should come here and take a dip in our glorious side of the Pacific Ocean. ;-)

            • SallyT says:

              Ahhh, SLM, I don’t know about eating the fish over there are even out of the Pacific. It is so scary and frightening. Why would anyone want to use that source of power. They are still pushing for it here. No Way!

            • sillylittleme says:

              I offered to take him myself on a vacation sometime in the not too distant future. Japan has been on my bucket list as I am a sushi aficionado and can’t get enough of the noodles and yummies that are found in Japanese bakeries in and around Boston. I will endeavor to keep educating him…

          • SueInCa says:

            SLM tell him to wait a few years. Quite honestly, he is showing his ignorance on the subject by even making that statement. It was not a nuclear blast but a repeated release of radiation and that is going to harm people over many years as they slowly die. There are increased cases of thyroid problems already and there is a University Hospital nicknamed Dracula’s Castle for the types of things they are and have had to treat there. I am amazed day in and day out at how some people are not afraid to debate as they show their total lack of understanding on any given subject..

            • sillylittleme says:

              I told him yesterday that in a decade we would be having a very different conversation. Sometimes it irks me when smart people can be so stupid because one points out the flaws in their argument. Reading morning blog now. I have a lot of reading to do. LOL!!

  7. kesmarn says:

    Thanks so much Sally, for sharing the story of Adolph Kline’s experience during the war. When I read it I was wondering: when will we learn?

    Adolph suffered discrimination based only on the name his parents gave him at birth. How senseless and — really, when it comes down to it — ignorant, no? And then there’s the horror of the Japanese internment camps. And we’d like to think: “Well, that was then. We’re better than that now.”

    But then along came Barack Hussein Obama. Sigh. Need we say more?

    That name alone is enough for some people to consider him a Muslim — not just a Muslim — but a sympathizer with terrorists. Apparently no further evidence is required beyond his name.

    I’m glad you’re flying that new flag from Adolph’s flagpole today, Sally. It’s a sign of hope. Hope that we really will learn someday.

    • SallyT says:

      When I stop and think about those brave men and their families and what they set out to do, I am always amazed. Most were still young men, even for their time, and they were to take on the mightiest empire in the world! (I hope our young can be as wise.) Thank the heavens for John Adams! (A man that did listen to his wife and ask her opinion.) Jefferson, Franklin and Washington get all the glory and they do deserve glory. But, Adams was the pusher of them all to fight for the freedoms they wanted. I get so frustrated when I see how the Tea Party tries to put thoughts into the founders head and interpret their words incorrectly and for incorrect purpose. They have no idea what these men were thinking and doing and facing. Yes, they made mistakes. Yes, they didn’t cover everything. That is why it is a work not done and never will be. Times change and unfortunately some people never do. So, we fight on and, Kes, with HOPE!

      Thank you for reading and taking time from your holiday to comment. Love ya, Kat!

  8. Nirek says:

    Sally, this is for you.


    We need to learn from the past and do better.

    • SallyT says:

      Ahhhh, Nirek, thank you for that! You know we have a flag that looks just like that one. One that is very ragged but we have kept it as it was one that we found in the house. We also have the flag that was on Mr. T’s uncle’s coffin. He was killed in Okinawa. His father’s only sibling. It is flown every Veteran’s Day. It is a large flag as it had to cover the casket. Some may find a problem with that but we feel that his uncle would want us to do just that.

      The flag in the picture and the one flying today is a new one that Mansion, Moondozer (the great danes) and I got Mr. T for Father’s Day. She is pretty!

      Thank you for such a sweet tribute and your time out of your holiday to read my post and to respond so kindly. I know you know how much I appreciate it but here I am going on record and telling you! Made my day, Nirek!

  9. sillylittleme says:

    What a lovely tradition Sally. And I’m sure that Mr Kline appreciates you keeping that tradition alive. It is sad that so many believe that we should now shut the door to those who seek our refuge. Many of us come from ancestors who made it to this country for the purpose of freedom. It is too bad that they seem to forget that.

  10. Dbos says:

    Great piece Sally ; some in our nation have shanghaied our flag saying it represents only certain people; you nailed it.

  11. Miles Long says:

    An abiding bitterness in me forces me to respond: At least they didn’t put Mr. Kline in a concentration camp in Utah like they did my father’s entire Japanese American family during that same war.

    Miles “With Liberty And Justice For Whites” Long

    • SallyT says:

      Miles Long, I am sorry that only bitterness forced you to respond. Yes, the United States of American has made mistakes. My ancestors suffered from the time they kept those Pilgrims from starving to this day. Along with many others that have been discriminated against and still are. Many have stories that demonstrate that crudity. I shared one, not to elevate it over any others pain, but to tell my opinions of the struggles we are facing now as then.
      To quote from one tribe, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma:

      I think of the 4th of July as American Ideals Day. If only America would live up to its own stated ideals, none of what happened to American Indian people would have happened. Today, if those ideals were finally acted upon, American Indian sovereignty would be fully recognized and the treaties would be kept intact. The fireworks celebrate the great ideals that could be America, if only greed were not allowed to pervert them.

      I am sure others can find a similarity of feelings as this tribe. I am sorry my article left you with bitterness, as that was not its intent. I do appreciate you reading it. Thank you.

      • Miles Long says:

        I believe you misunderstood my post.

        It is not your article that aroused bitterness at all, just a reminder.

        This country has failed to live up to its ideals so often, for so may people, that they are worthless.

        We point to World War II as a time when the USA rose to the occasion, to fight the good fight against tyranny, racism, fascism, etc.

        All along the Tuskegee Airmen were constantly under fire, marginalized, demonized, etc, and all the while producing the best record of ANY air group fielded by the US.

        As for Japanese Americans, I’m not going to rehash this country’s persecution of them during the war. But again, America fell so short of its famed ideals.

        I’m bi-racial, half-Black/half-Japanese, and what whites in this country, and even on this site, have to understand is that America looks very different to whites and non-whites.

        Every time we try to ignore or minimize that fact, and the different experience both groups experience, I strongly believe that we do a disservice to the notion of equality for all and just how short this country falls.

        Only Native Americans have experienced the full-on bigotry, racism and attempted genocide of their race longer than American Blacks.

        And those who want to argue about the genocidal behavior this country has toward Blacks, even today, probably doesn’t understand that the Stand Your Ground laws were designed to do just that, murder Blacks with impunity.

        So no, your post didn’t spawn any bitterness at all, it’s always been there. My post was a simple reminder of just how different this country looks, sounds and feels to someone who isn’t white.

        Miles “No Harm, No Foul” Long

        • Nirek says:

          Miles, I honestly believe America has in the past persecuted and mistreated people who came here for freedom. Certainly your ancestors on both sides of your family were. The Irish, and Chinese were, too. Now it is Hispanics, and Muslims.

          We have to do better. We have to learn from past mistakes and never repeat them.

          When I wrote about WWII being the only war we have been in that was just, I didn’t know as much as I did after all the comments from the very intelligent folks here. This is a place to learn. I thank you for the education and hope you will not hold the sins of our fathers against us.

          • Miles Long says:

            How can anyone find fault with such musically imbued folks, Nirek. {chuckle}

            However, I reserve the right to remind people that a completely different perspective may often exist. ;-)

            Miles “The Big Picture” Long

        • SallyT says:

          I am sorry I read your post as I did. I guess the “bitterness forces me to respond” and the fact that Mr. Kline had not suffered enough in my story. The story was about his flagpole and why he erected it. No, it did not encompass all that suffered during that World War nor all the injustices done.

          I am glad there is “No Harm, No Foul” but none was ever intended. As I said, we all have stories to tell and mine was just one of them. Thank you for sharing yours and your opinions.

          As a relative once said to me, “We share with our black brothers a similar pain. They were ripped from their land and we had our land ripped from us.”

        • VegasBabe says:

          If we were at the “other place”, I’d be fanning and faving you for this comment and letting you know, I feel ya!!! thank you for your comments!!

          VB

    • sillylittleme says:

      Sorry to hear that Miles. Segregating people based on the actions of a few is reprehensible. Especially since there was no evidence of collusion from one Japanese-American citizen. FDR made many mistakes in that war. Not the least of which was waiting as long as he did to get to Germany and to free those of my fellow tribespeople that perished needlessly.

  12. AdLib says:

    Sally, what a wonderful tribute to the 4th of July! A very on-target expression of the independence and tolerance for others’ views of independence that really hits home.

    The story of the flagpole itself is a perfect allegory for the tightwire we can walk between the respect for our independence and the social pressure of conformity…the antithesis of independence.

    It can be a challenge to stay balanced on that tightwire, we see so many fall off spectacularly like the racists blocking the immigrant buses in Murietta who waved their plentiful American flags as they spoke hatefulness as a mob towards those yearning to breathe free.

    And there’s the sad irony of the rest of The New Colossus poem on the Statue of Liberty that these embarrassments to America no doubt are clueless about:

    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    Happy 4th of July, Sally and a happy 4th to all Planeteers!

    • SallyT says:

      Thank you, Ad Lib! I did make a mistake and referred to England as a nation when in fact it was an empire. I am never perfect. But, few humans are.

      The flagpole is solid wood, one tree. It is 32 ft tall but once stood taller. It was hit by a drunk driver sometime in the 60’s and had to be cut down and re-based. Mr. Kline did not let it remain down for long. We fear it could happen again. We have had 4 flags stolen (kids doing it). But, we do love it for all it stands for.

      Again, thank you AdLib and a Happy 4th of July to you! See you in the Funnies!


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