Jim Adams: Freedom, Sacrifice, and the National Anthem

Tuesday, April 17th, 2018 @ 4:22PM

Another View — Jim Adams: Freedom, sacrifice, and the National Anthem

by Jim Adams

The freedom and rights of the American people are second to none in the world. However, that freedom came at a very high price. Since the American Revolution, the men and women of this great nation have been willing to sign a blank check to this country for the amount up to and including their lives to protect these precious freedoms. These brave souls were willing to give up all of their tomorrows so we could enjoy today.

They were not professional soldiers. They were farmers, professors, members of the clergy, doctors, laborers, freed slaves, and the mothers and daughters who all knew this fight was for America’s freedom, the right to live and worship as they pleased, the pursuit of happiness and that we all have value and in the end, that is what they were fighting for. Please remember all of our veterans this Veterans Day.

Since the American Revolution, hundreds of thousands of Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice to maintain that freedom. As a young boy, I was taught to respect the flag and our National Anthem.

The actions of the NFL players kneeling during the anthem is showing total disrespect to the families and the memories of those who have given the last full measure of devotion for our freedom. This country for the last five to eight years has had an uptick of racial problems on both sides of the ledger. Our police officers are not the problem. Granted, a couple of knuckleheads that crossed the stupid line with both feet are not in any way representative of the brave men and women of our police. These officers go to work every day saying goodbye to their spouses and children realizing it could be the last time they see them.

The problems in the inner cities and other problem areas are a national problem that needs to be addressed. Kneeling during the National Anthem is not the way to fix it. The NFL players should be ashamed of the disrespect they show. The National Anthem is not a venue to demonstrate. It is a time to show respect to all those who have made America the best country in the world.

I ask you to find the video on YouTube of the 2006 Super Bowl National Anthem performed by the military academy’s choirs joined by Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush, with five Tuskegee Airmen from World War II. No one can imagine the sacrifices and discrimination the Tuskegee Airmen faced, but they performed their duty in an outstanding manner, being recognized as the only high cover fighter squadron that never lost a B-17 during World War II. Those heroes stood tall saluting the flag with tears in their eyes remembering their fellow airmen who lost their lives making that record as well as all who died protecting our freedom.

If the NFL players want to make a real difference regarding problems in this country, they should take a page from the Tuskegee Airmen playbook. Be a role model, not a primadonna; be a problem solver, not a problem maker, and lead by example. Never lose sight of the fact we live in the greatest country in the world and remember those who made it all possible and always respect the flag and our anthem.

The First Amendment is very important, but let’s not use the National Anthem to make a point. Too many Americans lie dead in a hundred fields, crossroads, oceans, and faraway places to preserve our way of life, and those rights. We owe them much, lest we never forget! Stand during the National Anthem, remembering the real heroes of this country.

Jim Adams is a Vietnam veteran and chairman of the State Veterans Council.

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