Standing in a line with my teammates, everyone falls silent, the music begins….
I used to get chills every time the national anthem was played. I stood quiet, still, and at attention. I do not remember placing my hand over my heart, but my heart was in it.
The respect that I showed was not for the flag or for the anthem. It was for everything that this country was and was striving to become.
Protesting is part of the foundation of this great country. It was protesting that created it. It is protesting injustices within and outside its borders that earns it respect. Allowing peaceful protests of a minority shows this country’s strength. When protests bring injustices to light, this country has shown the capacity to recognize the injustice and to work to correct the situation. Protests do not always bring the change that is sought. Sometimes the change happens but it is decades later, after the seed has had time to grow.
The story this weekend seems to be centered around respecting the flag and the right to protest.