The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is the simple fact that we are free to do just about anything we desire as long as it is legal and does not infringe on the rights of others. This freedom insures that Americans are free to stand for the national anthem or to sit or to kneel or to do whatever we desire. It also means that Americans are free to honor the flag or to stomp on it.
I love to see the Stars and Stripes flying high above, and I always feel a tingle as I pledge allegiance to it. I learned the importance of pledging allegiance to the flag when I started first grade, and I have never forgotten it. I love the flag, I love the colors in the flag, and I love what the colors represent.
In a day when numerous athletes and other people feel they need to use patriotism to protest some unfairness, I am always thrilled to learn of various members of the rising generation who have the courage to stand up for the flag.
Just prior to a football game in Flint Township, Michigan, on August 31, 2016, the Lapeer Lightning freshmen football team was told that the national anthem would not be played before their game. The members of the team did not accept the reasons given for not playing the national anthem. They stood on the sidelines, saluted the flag, and sang the national anthem.
Another football player stood for the flag under very difficult circumstances. Wesley Baker, a young man from South Carolina, was a high school football player in 2013 when he was hit by an 18-wheeler while walking along the highway. He miraculously survived the accident, but he lost a leg, received heavy trauma to the brain, and other injuries. Nineteen-year-old Baker recently attended a football game at his former high school. After three years of medical care, therapy, and persistence, Baker stood for the first time when he stood for the national anthem.
Yes, Americans are free to do nearly anything we want to do. We are free to show courage and love for our nation or to show ingratitude for the great blessings we receive simply because we are Americans. We have a choice, and our choice shows our character.