Letters to the editor: Honor the flag

To the Journal editor:

A friend of mine with whom I had served in the U.S. Army with had shared a video with a caption, “Those who disrespect the flag, have never been handed one.” It was a very moving video. It prompted me to comment on it and the ongoing controversy over standing for our national anthem.

Every generation in our nation’s history has brought about some sort of change by challenging our government. From voting rights for women to civil rights for our citizens, peaceful protests give a voice to the ideals of change.

It was our founding patriots who had the vision to understand the needs of a growing country. Veterans have helped to secure our nation’s legacy as a leader of freedom and democracy.

A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to “USA” in the amount of “up to and including my life.”

To champion a cause or promote a change is every American’s right and should be cherished. Paying tribute to the symbol that bonds us all as American is a privilege guaranteed by those who have gone before us and are serving now.

Our nation’s flag is the embodiment of our past, present and future. I ask, if you refuse to honor the symbol of our nation, are you worthy enough to have its rights bestowed upon you? As veterans, we wear the American flag on our uniforms proudly.

It represents all that is great with our nation. The caskets of fallen comrades are draped with that symbol, remembering the sacrifices of those who have written the ultimate check to our nation. We veterans will never always agree with protests against our government, but we will stand united against those who disgrace the very symbol giving them that right to do so.

When you hear the words, “Please stand for the playing of our National Anthem,” it is at that moment our differences should be set aside and we become one as a nation.

Stand, place your hand over your heart, and be proud to be an American; taking pride in the accomplishments we have made.

We have plenty of room for improvement and have hefty goals for ourselves as a country. It is our freedom that allows us to look forward to the future, regardless of our differences.

John D. Flitton

Norway

U.S. Army (retired)