My father’s flag
My father, a true American patriot, died last year. He landed on Omaha Beach, D-Day-plus four, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and inside Germany. Upon returning from WWII, Dad joined his local Veterans of Foreign Wars and was a member for more than 50 years. For many of those years, Dad led the honor guard that presented the American flag to the next of kin at military funerals. Two years ago, my siblings, Dad and I were having a discussion about protesters burning the American flag. Dad said, “Well, if a guy burns his own flag, that’s his right. Just don’t burn mine.” Dad fought an enemy, Nazi Germany, which imprisoned and executed citizens who dared to speak out against it. He would support the right of athletes to protest by kneeling during the national anthem.
Dan Schmitt, Elk Grove
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I feel like I have stepped through the looking glass into an alternate reality. This president doesn’t seem to have the right words or time to thoroughly condemn neo-Nazis, white supremacists and the KKK as un-American, but has the time to criticize and threaten athletes who express their views in a peaceful and open manner. Apparently, not standing during the national anthem at a sporting event is the greatest threat to our democracy. We have a divider-in-chief.
Lester Snow, Fair Oaks
Recall the near unanimous condemnation of the defacement of the Koran. It’s just a book, easily replaced. The public show of disapproval for a symbol important to many people is rude, discourteous, impolite, uncivil and immature. It can be incredibly divisive. There is, not surprisingly, no such unanimity of disapproval for the disrespect shown to the national anthem and American flag. After all, it’s just a piece of cloth, easily replaceable. The national anthem and flag have brought tears to my eyes as I remembered people, some of them my friends and comrades, who fought and died for what that flag represents. Now, I cry for my country.
John Paul, Carmichael
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