Memorial Day tribute and NFL protests
Anyone who watched the PBS Memorial Day Salute to America’s military heroes, or attended a local Memorial Day service, experienced these emotional and unforgettable tributes to our brave members of the United States military. With the National Symphony Orchestra playing Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”, and actors giving heroic first person stories of solders’ personal battlefield bravery, the distilled essence of this tribute brought tears to both the narrators and the audience.
An especially impressive accolade was paid to the two million women veterans in the US military. 300,000 female soldiers have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. The personal narratives of the strength and bravery of our military members made the viewer proud to be a citizen of a free America.
All of us respect the value of our Constitutional First Amendment rights, a right where hundreds of thousands of Americans sacrificed their lives to defend that freedom of expression. It is a sad commentary that the NFL players and others claim that they respect our nation’s veterans yet claim in the same sentence that they are fully justified in not standing for our national anthem in protest of racial inequality.
That stance shows a shallow understanding of historical police data and is fundamentally hypocritical. With 420,000 soldiers buried in Arlington Cemetery, how can any patriotic American condone this denigrating display of public protest? Are there no longer better ways to have a public discourse on our differences?
It is time for these wealthy athletes and their supporters to realize that they owe their freedom and their success to millions of military veterans. They can exhibit that gratitude by remembering those sacrifices and showing more respect for their country’s flag and national anthem.
May God give His blessing and guidance to the military men and women of these United States of America.
Carroll Player, DDS