Patriotism, Politics and Sports

Have the athlete’s or the politician’s earned the right to be the final authority on our flag or is it the men and women that have been willing to answer the call to serve for more than two centuries?

The louder voices on respecting our flag should be reserved for the families standing next to a casket of a husband, a wife, a mother or a father in an airport hanger draped in the Stars and Stripes.

Yet, the vast majority of these warriors have never been much on talk or grandstanding; rather, they continue standing on the wall, patrolling dangerous deserts, covering vast oceans and protecting the skies from lunatics wishing to annihilate us.

No, our flag is not a symbol of perfection and it’s fair to say there are a few stains on Old Glory. However, she’s done plenty to make amends and works with each passing generation to provide the greatest opportunities in the world for Americans from all races, religions, and backgrounds.

Over the years, our flag has become a symbol to honor America’s purest hero – the veteran. The very one who protects the right for others to kneel, ignore or protest the flag.

In the words of Arthur Ashe: “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”

It is obvious that our nation has much healing in the days ahead. I would hope millionaire athletes and professional politicians would understand the responsibility of bringing our communities together rather than exaggerating victimhood or childish name-calling.

In the meantime, I’m going to listen to Whitney Houston’s version of the Star-Spangled Banner and think about those beautiful souls who continue to allow us all to pursue an incredible life, genuine liberty, and true happiness.