Standing For Our National Anthem

The following Essay was written by a 12-year-old young man and sent to The Veterans Reporter News by his grandmother.

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By Dean Craven

Standing for the national anthem shouldn’t be a problem, but for the NFL players it is. NFL players are using the national anthem to protest racial and police brutality in the United States. This is wrong and shouldn’t be happening. The people of the United States stand up for the National Anthem because we are showing respect for the men and women that have and are still serving our country.

Unfortunately some NFL players believe that not standing for our national anthem is in protest of racism and police brutality, in our country. When in fact our national anthem has nothing to do with racism or police brutality. Colin Kaepernick quoted, “I’m not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people”. If Colin were too have been in the military and actually fought for the lives and freedom of our country he might see that standing for our flag is about respect and not racism.

My Grandmother and 4 of my uncles were in the military. My uncle served in Vietnam and to this day, still has PTSD. He wakes up in the middle of the night from nightmares of terrifying images from the things he witnessed and endured in Vietnam. Can you even imagine the struggles he went through knowing that some of his friends had died during that time and he witnessed them dying. Now imagine that same man sitting on his couch watching an NFL game and seeing players taking a knee instead of standing with honor for what he and loads of other men and women that fought for our country will always stand for.

A concern I am having would be that little kids and teenagers are looking up to these NFL players. If kids are looking up to these players then they will start to agree with them. I respect the NFL players for having their own opinions and beliefs but, to have kids act the same way as these NFL players and doing something wrong for a misunderstood reason, isn’t right.

I’ve heard a lot of things people would do if they were to be in charge, like suspending them. But if I were to be in charge then I would either kick players off the team or fine them a lot of money each time they don’t stand. Which brings me to the conclusion of why people should be standing up for the national anthem, and I quote from our national anthem, “Whose brought stripes and bright stars, Through the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched, Were so gallantly streaming. And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night, that our flag was still there. Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.