Unless you have been living under a rock or have been off the grid for the past few weeks, you no doubt have heard of the controversy surrounding the National Anthem. And there is little doubt you have an opinion about it. And I am willing to bet, most opinions are strongly leaning one way or the other.
I have been wrestling with my opinion. I think I have come to a conclusion.
You Can Sit
Colin Kaepernick has taken a knee the past two weeks to stand up for social injustices. Handfuls of players across the league (NFL) and other sports are following suit.
This move sparked mega outrage and lots of media coverage. So I suppose it has been successful.
I was immediately annoyed by Kaepernick's move two weeks ago. The prideful American, former Military and law enforcement wife in me became upset and angry by the move. I saw it (and still kind of do) as an attention grabber, nothing else. I thought, "This bench-sitting, multimillionaire douchenozzle is just trying to get his name out there." I had certainly never heard of him before this punk move. So it seemed reasonable to me.
Then I started reading stories, Facebook posts, tweets. I caught news clips here and there. I noticed more and more athletes making the stand, or rather the kneel. I asked my husband - the former soldier and police officer - his opinion. Honestly, I was expecting a passionate tirade about the disrespectful losers claiming social injustice. Instead, he shrugged and calmly said, "It's their right." That was it. He wasn't upset. He wasn't angry. He wasn't disgusted or offended.
Stu's answer gave me pause. I am so impressed with his view. He has not mentioned the Anthem or the sit-downs to me or on social media (to my knowledge). He accepts it. He accepts it because he fought for the right for Kaepernick and all the others to sit during the National Anthem. He accepts it because to force them (or anyone) to stand would be a violation of that right. It would go against everything he was trained to protect. It would go against our basic freedom as Americans.
We Will Stand
You can chose to sit or kneel during the National Anthem, and I can always find it disrespectful. It hurts me. I believe the part that bothers me is that I don't associate the Anthem or Old Glory with Law Enforcement. When I see the flag or hear The Star Spangled Banner, I do not think of the Thin Blue Line. I think of the soldiers who have fought for that flag; I think of the soldiers who have died for the stars and stripes. So to sit as a show of protest to law enforcement, that's the part that bothers me.
I have taught my kids to freeze when they hear The Star Spangled Banner. No matter where they are or what they are doing. Our local radio station plays it every single day at noon. The kids know if we are in the car, all talking ceases for that 120 seconds. If we are watching a game on TV, we show our love for our country by standing and singing along. We respect the song and all it stands for. And that means, we also respect the right of the individuals who chose not to participate in it.
Family & Life
Nothing super fancy here. Probably not life changing either. But you might enjoy a peek into our world.