Monday, September 25, 2017

General Martin E. Dempsey: Why We Stand for the Flag

At USA Today:

In the course of everyday life, there are very few opportunities for the people of the United States to come together, pause and reflect on the hope that is only possible with freedom and democracy. Our national anthem is a statement of respect for this hope, not a declaration that those present agree with everything our nation does or fails to do.

That’s why members of the military and other public servants love sports and why sports love them. As the 18th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I witnessed the public ritual of playing the national anthem at sporting events dozens of times and saw Americans rise above their own self interests and celebrate something that is greater than themselves. More recently, I was in Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics and stood with enormous pride as our flag was raised and the anthem played when outstanding athletes across a variety of sports were moved to tears by the honor of representing their country.

National anthem doesn't belong only to the military: Dan Carney Life presents plenty of opportunities for us to disagree with one another and seemingly fewer opportunities on which we agree. Standing together during the national anthem at sporting events should be one of those times when we agree, when we focus on the things that bind us together, even as we prepare to let our voices be heard in disagreement about which team is the better team...