There is a threshold of intolerance that bubbles when I no longer can accept unacceptable behavior. Last night, while every fiber of my being was freezing, I stood in the cold to support my son’s high school football team while visions of tropical beaches danced in my head.. This is his last playoff of his high school career of being a student manager, so while sitting at home in my pajamas sounded enticing, it was not on my list of choices. Before the game began, there is the usual opening ceremony with the raising of the flag and the singing of the national anthem. I love the reverence. I love the moment when everyone is united in looking at our flag and paying tribute to our country.
The tribute took a different tone as two grown men decided this was the time to have a conversation in the middle of our solemn appreciation for our country. Now, I know there is so much controversy with people kneeling, but to me, I don’t care if you stand on your head as long as you are respectful and most of all, silent. The first warning I gave them was the “bitch glare” which has been known to make special education teachers cry and men run in horror. Both saw me and still proceeded to flap their gums. The second warning, was a death stare sprinkled with a finger to my mouth indicating the universal sign for silence and then I pointed to the flag.. (I know you all probably thought I gave them the finger, but I didn’t. I decided to be an example yesterday.) They both looked extremely uncomfortable and walked away. A few minutes later, one of my friends pointed out that one of the gentlemen was a priest. See, it was a good thing I didn’t use my middle finger.
My point to my ranting is that we can grow intolerant of people protesting during our national anthem, but where is the outcry when people like my friend the priest who simply disregards the whole ceremony and chats through it, or doesn’t remove their hat, or simply continues to walk to their seat instead of stopping to pay attention to the flag? The list goes on. I guess what I am saying is that we are a society that seems to be outraged over everything. We are prickly. We are easily pushed to the brink courtesy of our social media culture. It is exhausting.
So on this day – a day we honor and remember what our veterans sacrificed for us – let’s remember the rules for these patriotic ceremonies…….be solemn, be silent (unless you are singing the national anthem) but most of all be proud. We have a lot to be grateful for and it is a shame that people take it for granted on a daily basis.