The National Anthem has been the subject on FB since Trump’s condemnation of a Football player who chose to kneel during the playing of the National Anthem before a game. He called him on live TV, a sonofabitch, further declaring that the player should be fired. There are photos have posted showing Trump standing with his hands hanging down at his side on more than one occasion while others had their hand over their heart during the playing of the National Anthem. Since Trump’s explosive statement, other players have knelt during the playing of the anthem while some chose to remain in the locker room until after the anthem was played. I don’t know when the tradition to play the anthem before a game started, and I can see it appropriate at an international event like the Olympics where they honor the athlete by playing his/her country’s national anthem, however I can’t understand the reason for playing it at a national game. In the military, we were taught to salute when in uniform during the playing of the national anthem and place our hand over our heart when wearing civilian clothes. There is nothing written that a civilian should or must adhere to this gesture. Although it is a sign of respect for the flag, is it a matter of choice. One may notice that in church a person may choose to kneel to show respect for God or to stand during prayer, as directed by the pastor.
One FB post was made by a person who said he was a retired Marine officer. He said that he was appalled that anyone would show disrespect for the flag. He mentioned the coffins returning from Iraq that were draped with the American flag and that this act showed disrespect for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. I suspect that many bought into his BS. He chose the wrong country to make that statement. America invaded Iraq and the Iraqi soldiers were defending their country as is true with any country repelling an invasion. Since there is no longer the draft, young people joining the service are volunteers. Many enter the military to have a job. The military offers food, shelter and clothing giving them the security many don’t have in civilian life. They take a risk with the hope that they will not be engaged in battle, however they are trained in the art of killing. An important part of this training is obedience. One must obey orders given by their superior, without question. I still remember and honor Muhammad Ali for the stand he took by refusing to enter the service to fight in Vietnam. He was not a coward. He didn’t want to kill people who did nothing to him and he was punished for the stand he took. I respect anyone who refuses to engage in killing. Refusing to obey an order that goes against your conscious is the right thing to do. One may wind up being court marshalled, but they will be alive and have a clear conscious. Dick Stodghill’s book is a good reference about engaging in battle and his thoughts on patriotism.
Racism still exists. How one chooses to demonstrate their feelings about injustice is a matter of choice their constutional right to do so.