By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer
HAMILTON - With a ceremony that was both joyful and somber, Butler County officials raised the state's bicentennial flag Monday, the county's 200th birthday.
About 200 spectators watched the flag-raising ceremony in front of the Butler County Government Services Center on High Street.
Ohio's 200th birthday was March 1, and Butler County's was Monday. Warren County also celebrated its 200th birthday Monday with ceremonies that included flag-raisings and presentation of a specially made quilt.
"We have a proud heritage in Butler County," County Commissioner Courtney Combs said.
While celebrating the county's bicentennial, Combs and other speakers mentioned the war against Iraq and the monumental sacrifices American armed forces have made in this and other wars.
"We must remember that this country will stand tall in the pursuit of freedom and the elimination of terrorism," Combs said.
Capt. Greg Blankenship of the Butler County Sheriff's Department sang the National Anthem, and the sheriff's bagpipe brigade played "Amazing Grace."
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