The stadium is packed; the Army Navy game is ready to start. The public address announcer has to turn the volume up for the announcement. “Ladies and gentlemen: Please stand for the Invocations and remain standing for the National Anthem. The crowd grew silent, and the Chaplain’s voice filled the stadium. He delivered an amazing Invocation. The cadet and midshipman choirs were lined up on the field to sing the National Anthem. It was a beautiful sound and a beautiful sight. The stands were filled with reverent people, people who were showing respect for our Christian Heritage and our flag. What a wonderful moment.
As I watched this scene with butterflies in my stomach and pride in the total representation of the best of our great nation, I couldn’t help but remember another scene witnessed several times recently. That was the scene at several professional football and basketball games, and I suspect many others that I don’t know about; when Colin K. and other athletes failed to stand, took a knee, or used other ways to protest their view of social injustice or something they think is wrong with their great country. But I guess they don’t think it is so great. It only allowed them the opportunity to become very rich. It only allowed them to stand up in protest because of the great documents that give them “free speech.” It allows them the freedom to dishonor the flag and the national anthem.
Then my mind shifts back to the Army Navy game. Wow. What a sight. The young men and women who carry the flag to the far-flung corners of the world, who fight and die for the things that flag stands for, and who pledge their allegiance to that red, white, and blue beauty, were still standing with dignity and respect as the last sounds drifted away. They will give their life, if necessary, to protect the freedom of those who dishonor it. They will climb mountains, march in mud, sail in stormy waters to plant that flag as a declaration of freedom.
Oh, say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave, O’er the Land of the Free, and the home of the brave–and the not so brave? Fortunately for all of us, Yes.