Opening statement to those who think that a simple thing like just standing during the singing/playing of our Nation Anthem has nothing to do with honoring/respecting/recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve/who have served our Country:
“Yeah, it does.”
It began simply enough, as most things do, with my just wanting to reflect on things that had happened between the first and last parts of our series, “The Price for Freedom,” a period which spanned from June 23, 2017 until November 8th, 2017. So, as I thought about the events of the last months, the one thing that stood out, for me, was the “fuss” being generated over this “Stand for the Anthem” issue.
I am reminded of the book by Dr. David Jeremiah, entitled, “I Never Thought I’d See the Day!”
Well, guess what?
I never thought I’d see the day when there would be a “fuss” over standing for the National Anthem. Did you? But, even sadder than that … I never thought I’d see the day when, if you criticized someone for not standing … you … yes, you … would be criticized! I’ll say it:
I never thought I’d see the day when our President, the President of the United States, would make a strong statement that we should stand for our National Anthem … and, then, HE would be criticized for making that statement … I never thought I’d see the day …
Once again, as I wrote in Part One, “What message do you think that sent to the world?”
I can say this with all truth and sincerity: I know what it’s like to be ridiculed, or to be made fun of, or be criticized, for being something called a “Patriot.” This has nothing to do with a team who has that name. To be “called down” for acting like a “Patriot” is not something I am ashamed of. It is something I am proud of. I’m proud to be an American. I will stand for our Anthem. I’m proud of what our Country stands for. I will stand for our Anthem. I’m proud of what our Military has done, and is doing. I’ll stand to honor them. I’ll stand for our Anthem. I am honored to be the recipient of the freedoms which these brave men and women-under the banner of our Flag-have accomplished for me, and for us all. I’ll stand for our Anthem.
However … this does lead me to “question” those who don’t stand.
I can’t help it … I am human … and, I am a proud American:
If all this “isn’t a big deal,” then the following questions wouldn’t be a big deal either:
If they don’t stand for our Flag … then … whose flag do they … will they … stand for?
If it’s not “just about them,” then, why do they remove their helmets during the Anthem?
Do they know that “everyone is watching?”
Oh … I get it … if they don’t take their helmets off … how could their face get “camera time?”
Say … those are 2 pretty big questions:
If it’s not about just them, why do they remove their helmets?
If they don’t stand for our flag, whose flag do they stand for?
I have made it clear that I am, yes, a fan of the NFL (No Flag Loyalty).
Maybe not as big a fan as I was, but I’m still a fan.
But, and, maybe I’ll be criticized for writing this … but … as big a fan of sports that I am, as big a fan of the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) as I am … I am a bigger fan of the United States. I am a bigger fan of our Flag, and what it “stands” for.
I love the fact that I used the word “stands” there. Looking at it, the word, I am reminded that, yes, I love our Flag, and what it stands for. For the men and women who have, and still do, “stand” under it, and defend it. Maybe, most of all, I stand for those who have died … defending it. Who have died, fallen, “standing” for it, and what it “stands for.”
Yeah … I’ll stand.
Is that it?
Is that why I stand?
What does it say about me … that I stand?
What would this, then, say about those who refuse to stand?
Ok, allow me to speak as a fan: There are at least 4 teams that I believe have serious “locker room” issues. Because of this, these 4 teams will never win a Super Bowl. Will never win a Championship.
Every “movement” must have a leader. Did I just say that, not standing for our National Anthem, was a “movement?” Dr. Jeremiah … “I Never Thought I’d See the Day!”
Anyway, there is a particular player who is, generally, credited with starting this “movement.” And, the fact that he has, since he became “famous” for not standing during our National Anthem, been unable to get a job, has equally made “big news.” Seems no one, in the NFL (No Flag Loyalty), will hire him. Again, this has been news, and the subject of much debate. Let’s get back to this “serious locker room issues” idea. No one wants a player who would “divide” the locker room. Heck … this particular player divided the country! So, it’s “not looking any better for tomorrow” to have him “suit up” for your local team. There have even been reports of fans refusing to buy tickets if this particular player is signed. I don’t know … what does that say?
So, thinking about this one player, for a moment. I agree, 100%, that we have freedoms in this Country. Yes … freedoms we enjoy directly because of what that Flag, and those who defend it (even died defending it), stand for. Heck … there’s that word “stand” again. That must really be a “sore spot” for some folks … Anyway … I think I came up with this question while I was looking at the Time magazine cover with this particular player’s photo on it … you know, the one where he was kneeling during our National Anthem … After I thought, “I wonder if he would have made the cover in recognition of his football skills?” the next thought was this:
I had been debating this issue over whether this was about a glaring social issue, or just a personal opportunity for publicity. I thought about what I had always been taught, and, it is pretty “cut and dried.” When the National Anthem is played, you stand. Period. Hats off.
Period. That’s what you do. Period. A hundred reasons why. A thousand reasons why. A million reasons why. I don’t know the exact number of those who have died, defending the Flag, but each one represents a number to stand. Proudly. It’s not about me. It’s about them. But, could it be, that the opportunity could exist, to make this most sacred of traditions … about “me?” The command, and it has always seemed like a “command” and not a “choice issue,” was to:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please stand and remove your hats.”
So … the question I had, as I looked at the photo, was …
If this isn’t about “me,” why did you remove your helmet?
Why did you take off your helmet, if it wasn’t about “you?”
So, now, and there are millions and millions of proud Americans (and this is not a “knock” against the magazine) who don’t read Time.
I know I haven’t, since.
Anyway, there are also millions and millions of proud Americans who don’t follow the NFL (No Flag Loyalty).
But, now, there are millions and millions of proud Americans who know who you are.
If it wasn’t just about “me,” why did you take the helmet off?
Yes, the other glaring question may not have been publicized, but, it has to have been thought of, every time we see a player kneel:
If you don’t stand for our Flag, whose Flag do you stand for?
Oh … you aren’t standing for any Flag?
I think we get it.
Then … it has to be about “me.”
By the way, I just learned this week that, and I am serious about not knowing this, the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) is a non-profit entity. Not the individual teams, which, of course, are a true business entity, but the NFL (No Flag Loyalty), as a “League,” is recognized as a non-profit entity.
What a Country! Man … I would stand for the Anthem!
Notice that, in all of this writing, I haven’t mentioned anything about how great it must be to make millions of dollars … playing a game … yes … playing a game … to be a celebrity and admired athlete, with all the notoriety which comes with it … yeah … I’d have issues with a Country like that … Making big money playing a game … being famous … the freedoms-even more of which I can now enjoy because of my inflated income … man, oh man … I would be the first on the field, and would beg … yes, beg … to have the honor of holding the Flag … I wouldn’t just stand … I would leap to my feet … and, scream out the words … to honor those who have given so much … so that I could have … so much …
The more I think about it, the more I realize that, this “stand for the Anthem” issue, is a really big deal … Man … all that money … all that fame … all that celebrity … I would be praying for another opportunity to show my appreciation to the brave men and women, and especially those who have died defending my opportunities … defending that Flag …. Defending our Country … Praying to have another opportunity to show my appreciation …
Unless, of course, I wasn’t thankful.
I wasn’t grateful.
Because … then … it would be about them.
And, not about “me.”
I am fully aware that I am writing this the day before the Super Bowl. Will I watch? Yes.
Am I still a fan? Yes.
Am I ashamed of the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) decision to not broadcast the National Anthem during “regular” football games?
Am I embarrassed about the NFL (No Flag Loyalty) decision to not broadcast the National Anthem during “regular” football games?
I’m sure they will, tomorrow, make a “big deal” about their commitment to Veterans, and, they will broadcast our National Anthem. They may even act like it’s “their idea” to do so. I’ll remember, back a few months ago, when, all of a sudden, our National Anthem wasn’t part of the broadcast. How, when a close friend aired his disgust over this “not standing” issue, I defended the apology of a team who wrote that “maybe” it was the wrong thing to do, to not come out to the field during the National Anthem … I mean, I defended the team … but, his answer still resounds:
“It’s too late.”
By the way, tomorrow, they may even play a spot or two about their disapproval of gambling.
Sorry … I had to take a moment to check the “latest line” for the game. After all, isn’t all this “underdog/favorite” stuff based upon gambling?
Oh … I didn’t include a quote from Carol this time. Well … I must choose carefully … Her Father, too, had his casket draped with the American Flag … we both stood while “Taps” was played … we both heard all 21 rounds … We still have his medals, and his “Berlin” patch:
“If they’re kneeling, they’d better be praying.”
Closing statement to those who think that a simple thing like just standing during the singing/playing of our Nation Anthem has nothing to do with honoring/respecting/recognizing the dedication and sacrifice of those who serve/who have served our Country:
“Yeah, it does.”
Richard. Vincent. Rose.
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