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Spirit of America

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  • | 4:00 a.m. July 1, 2009
  • Sarasota
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From the Pilgrims’ first courageous footsteps on America’s shore to Neil Armstrong’s first footsteps on the Moon; from the defiant signatures of the Founding Fathers on the Declaration of Independence to the subsequent generations of soldiers who protected, and continue to protect, that freedom; from the invention of the car to the discovery of the atom and the creation of the Internet; from family traditions to baseball and apple pie — the spirit of America is unique.

And, as photographer Brian Blanco discovered, that spirit is well represented here in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Blanco photographed residents who embody the spirit of courage, ingenuity, tradition, youth and family. His poignant pictures grace the pages of our “Spirit of America” special section.

In addition, the winners of The Observer’s first online photo contest “Spirit of America” are featured in this section, along with a few of our favorite entries. Almost 8,000 votes were cast in the contest.

As you commemerate this Fourth of July, be mindful of all those things that have made America great and celebrate — with spirit, of course.
The Editor

To view the entire "Spirit of America" special section, please click on the following link.
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To view all the entries in the "Spirit of America" Photo Contest, click here.