Friday, September 9, 2016

Proudly Standing Up

I'm not one to publicly vent my political views but in light of some of the protest against this Nation's flag, I have decided to share some of my thoughts on the matter.

I had seen a picture of the first football player kneeling at a game a week ago and then I saw another athlete a few days later do the same at their game, and then last night I see a person kneeling at the first game of the football season. In my mind I wanted to turn off the television and not even watch the game, but it was the opening game and why would we let this person ruin our evening. 

This flag means something very special to us. It represents, not only the freedom we have here in this country, but also the lives of so many men and women who have fought and died for that freedom. They died so that these athletes can kneel if they want to. They died so that we can have the freedom to say your opinions in an open forum. And yet so many people do not understand that sacrifice that these men and women had to endure.

And it is not just the soldiers themselves who sacrifice. The Preacher and I are Blue Star parents. That means that we have a son in harms way in a war or during a time of hostility. We do not have the luxury of having our son here with us to sit and watch a football game in the comfort of our living room. We do not have the luxury of being able to pick up the phone and hear his voice at any given time during the day. We understand the sacrifice that so many soldiers and their parents have had to endure and still are enduring to this day.

Even before our son went off to join the military, I would tear up a little when listening to our National anthem and see the flag waving over a sporting field. I have a brother who fought in the Gulf War and a nephew who also served our country. So it was very personal to me. Now when I see that flag being waved by men and women of the different branches of the military, I tear up even more because it hits home even closer.

What happened to the solidarity that we all had the days after 9/11? You couldn't walk through a neighborhood without seeing an American flag waving from a front porch. You couldn't drive down the road without seeing the American flag being flown from car windows and truck beds. Where has that pride gone?

I feel that by not standing and placing your hand over your heart while the anthem is being sung and the flag is waving, you are slapping the faces of all of the soldiers that have fought and those who are still fighting to this day. There is something great about this country and that greatness came with a price. We should not forget that nor should we disgrace that. The flag represents something greater than any one person.

If these individuals want to make a difference, then they should start doing something positive and not divisive. I don't know what is going on in their personal lives, maybe they are helping people less fortunate than they are. From what I read they get paid a lot of money to play their sport. I would hope with that fortune they would choose to give back. 

In this time of hatred, of them verses us, of one political party against another, I would hope that people would be a little tired of all of the negativity and would come together, under the flag of the United States, and begin to do and say positive and loving things.

This is not about racism, this is not about religion, this is not about Republican versus Democrat – this is about a symbol that represents all of those things.

The Preacher and I will stand and proudly put our right hand over our hearts the next time we hear the National anthem being played and see that flag waving, where ever it may be. We ask that you join us in being proud of this Nation and what it stands for....freedom.

Love from the Preacher and I