The recent events where pro ball players taking to the knee while our National Anthem is played has led me to do a lot of thinking about freedom and what it means to me.
I am an Army brat. I was born to a soldier and then 52 years later, held him in my arms as he died. To say that I was proud of that man and all of his accomplishments during his life and the 3 wars in which he fought and almost died would be an understatement. I grew up on Army posts around the world, went to school with other army brats, eaten dinner at the tables of soldiers, from NCOs to generals. I have attended more military funerals than I care to remember and have wept at them all, some, my school friends, from war wounds and others just old soldiers.
I am army through and through. When I think of my father, his friends, comrades in arms, and my own friends, I really believe that what they were fighting for was not so much our own freedom but the concept of freedom for individuals of any nationality. True, they were often political pawns but fought nonetheless for someone’s freedom.
But foremost, in thinking of what my own father taught me, was that our founding fathers envisioned the freedoms of thought, action, and speech. Those were my Dad’s guiding principles and what he taught me to cherish.
I might find the kneeling and fist raising unpleasant to watch and even disrespectful but they are each fulfilling the dreams of our founding fathers, exercising their freedom of speech as it were. How can I possibly cherish the foundation of our country if I deny others the right to their freedom.
I have no doubt that my Dad would have harsh words for those ball players but I also have no doubt that he would accept their expression as much as he would expect them to accept his.
I stand with those who really believe in what our founding fathers enumerated for us to use as guideposts to a free society.
Listen to that with which you disagree, consider it and ignore it if you choose but never believe that your efforts to exercise freedom supersedes theirs.