The flag and National anthem mean different things to different people

By Robert Field

The most memorable experience from a visit to Tunisia some years ago was when the tour bus driver added a stop at the America military cemetery.

There I walked on pathways among immaculately maintained gravesites, most with crosses and a few with stars of David, and the omni-present American flags. I felt a swell of emotion that only equaled my feeling for when I visited the John F. Kennedy memorial in Israel two decades earlier.

As a child, I had eagerly followed the progress of American and allied forces first in the North Africa campaigns and then throughout Europe and Asia. I looked with reverence upon the soldiers on leave and sympathized with the families who hung Gold Stars in their windows, signaling the death at war of a dear one.

Whenever I stand with hat over heart for the National Anthem or adjust upward a flag on a lawn that has been allowed to touch the ground, it is those who so sacrificed for the nation that are in my mind.

And yet I can well understand how the National Anthem and Flag connote much different feelings in others, a sense that both represent the cruelty and ignorance of a nation of dominant Caucasians who enslaved, exploited or exterminated all others throughout much of the history of our nation.

My suggestion for football players: Salute the flag but then take a knee to show solidarity with those who have suffered from our nations cruelties.

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Updated: October 6, 2017 — 1:12 pm
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