A buddy of mine wrote this. Retired military. One of the best people I know – one I would follow into battle, and probably into hell and back. I wanted to publish this, because it appears the stupid is spreading from Kaepernick’s little public snit fit and his insistence on spitting in the faces of all Americans and all who have sacrificed for the American ideals to spoiled rotten NFL dick flickers who don’t even have enough respect for those who died on September 11, 2001 and those who have sacrificed to keep us safe since then, to put aside their petty little attention whoring.
A few thoughts on this whole stand or not during play of our national anthem. Honoring the flag does not imply that the republic for which it stands is perfect. Far from it, honoring the flag is our collective commitment that we will constantly attempt to get better as a nation, to improve as a people, and to use the freedoms that we have been given to make the earth a better place.
I spent over 30 years defending freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Nothing is more important to this democracy. Nothing! However, while no one should be compelled to stand, they should recognize that by sitting in protest to the flag, in my opinion, they are disrespecting everyone who sacrificed to make this country what it is today — as imperfect as it might be.
Those that believe the flag represents oppression should remember all the Americans who fought to eliminate bigotry, racism, sexism, imperialism, communism, and terrorism. The flag rode with the Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th, 10th, 24th and 25 Cavalry and Infantry Regiments. It was carried by the suffragists down the streets of New York City. It flew with the Tuskegee Airmen of WWII. It was planted in the fields where Cesar Chavez spoke. It marched with Martin Luther King Jr. It rocketed into space on the shoulder patches of women, gay, Hispanic, Asian and African American astronauts. Today, it waves high over the White House. It is a flag for everyone, of every color, of every race, of every creed, and every orientation, but the privilege of living under this flag does not come without cost. Nor should it come without respect.
The nation and everything it strives for is embodied in the American Flag. We strive to be more inclusive. We strive to be more understanding. We strive to fix the problems that plague our society. But in striving to do so, we must have a common bond; some symbol that reminds us of our past struggles and propels us to a brighter, more enlightened future. That symbol is the American flag.
To be sure, as my friend said, we’re not perfect. We never claimed to be. But we’re the only nation that truly enshrines the ideals of justice, equality, and freedom for all in our laws and history, and actively strives to achieve them! So give this nation some credit. Help us fix what needs to be fixed.
And most of all, stop being assholes!