- - Thursday, September 9, 2021

The Star-Spangled Banner provides the majestic musical/visual symbol of the Constitution I swore to support and defend as a U.S. Navy officer. My indefinitely binding oath requires standing for the national anthem and kneeling to pray for the country.

Now most professional sports plus ESPN, Nike, et al, endorse kneeling during the playing of the anthem — as though disparaging the country could promote social justice.

But veterans understand that settling grievances requires revering the essence of our country and defending the liberties it represents. Veterans also know that when armed-forces members make the ultimate sacrifice, they are wrapped in the Star-Spangled Banner in remembrance of intangible personal liberties. When America’s fallen arrive at Dover Air Force Base from the Middle East, their caskets are covered with the flag. When they are buried, the flag is removed, elegantly folded and given to a spouse, child, sibling or parent.

Previously, success was defined by marriage, kids, a career, etc. Now a fashionable consensus defines success around one group adjusting behaviors to validate the emotional damage others have decided to inflict upon themselves for endless perceived aggressions, insults and prejudices. The instigators gain a prestige, lacking dreams to pursue or accomplishments to celebrate. The subservient parties acquire costless moral superiority by holding themselves and the country in disgust.

I will always choose success through the hazards and uncertainties of personal freedom over sheltering within codependent relationships. This country needs “a new birth of freedom” to remain faithful to the Constitution as the embodiment of the American ideal.


Rogue River, Ore.

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