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Patriotism on the Rise

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It's no surprise that this is the biggest week of the year for the Flag and Banner Store in Sparks. But this year is even better than usual, for a couple of reasons. Of course people decorate and celebrate the Fourth of July. But the World Cup is playing into sales too. 

"People are coming for United States flags to show their patriotism. And some are buying other country flags too. But mostly people are proud and happy to show it," said Marty Smith of the Flag and Banner Store in Sparks.

And overall, he says the economy is better so sales are up.

Veterans we talked to today say it's about time.

"I fought in Vietnam to keep this country free. I am proud of that. When I first came home, they treated me like a second-class citizen for that fight. Now they are showing me respect," says Gene Wilson who was an E-6 radioman in the Navy in the 1960's.

Bill Farr is a proud World War II veteran. "I love this country. I went to war for it and I am proud I did. Some of it was hard but I'd do it again in a minute." At 91, Farr says the Fourth of July is a very special day for him. 

And the Reno News and Review will make sure this particular Fourth of July is a memorable one. For 19 years the RNR has been sponsoring Rollin' on the River Concerts in Wingfield Park as part of Artown in July. This Friday, that celebration will be an all-day affair.

"We want it to be a family, friends old-fashioned celebration," said John Murphy today. "We'll have a pie eating contest and watermelon and ice. We'll have family crafts and games but the real focus will be the veterans. We'll have two military concerts and fireworks. And we'll have a big banner set up for veterans to sign."

They hope to collect 4,000 signatures from veterans, or even veterans families. And it will be traveled around the community so that folks across Northern Nevada can see just how many veterans living here.

The celebration goes from 2am-10 p.m. Friday the Fourth.

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