Why we should all stand together

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Hayden Mayor Steve Griffitts, who helped oversee an outstanding Veterans Day ceremony in his community Nov. 11, provided some background to The Press that we thought worthy of sharing.

Saturday’s main speaker, former Navy commander Dr. Roland Kent, referenced something written by former Major League Baseball player Eric Byrnes.

In our view, just because someone is a professional athlete or movie star does not mean he or she automatically possesses insights worthy of consideration or respect. If a star basketball player wants to provide insight about the game of basketball, we’ll listen. But his prowess on a basketball court doesn’t necessarily translate into political wisdom.

Yet the thinking of Byrnes, a UCLA alum and professional outfielder who retired in 2010, is articulated in a way that deserves consideration.

See if you agree.

• • •

By ERIC BYRNES

My first reaction to [NFL players] sitting down during the national anthem was an extreme feeling of disappointment… I believe that there is a disturbing amount of social injustice within our country and even more so around the world. There is no doubt that ACTION needs to be taken.

The problem is that sitting down during the National Anthem is a divisive action and I truly believe the only way to fix social inequality is through UNITY NOT DIVISION.

The National Anthem was and still is a time I am able to stand up, place my right hand over my heart, bow my head and show gratitude for the sacrifices others have made for me to be able to play or watch a GAME that I love.

I am sure the National Anthem and the American Flag are symbols that mean something different for each individual but there is no doubt that both represent the democratic society that we created 240 years ago. Over the years our country has continued to develop and grow, most of the time in a positive direction and other times we have experienced serious setbacks. Regardless, the anthem continues to play, the flag continues to fly and just about all continue to stand. …

Me, I am going to stand.

I stand for democracy.

I stand for those who have fought and continue to fight for our country’s freedom.

I stand for all branches of Military.

I stand for those killed in action protecting your ass and mine.

I stand for their families.

I stand for the values and principles our nation was founded on.

I stand for our founding fathers.

I stand for our forefathers.

I stand for our government structure.

I stand for George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Rossevelt, FDR, JFK and Ronald Reagan.

I stand for all US Presidents and the sanctity of the Presidential office.

I stand for Alexander Hamilton.

I stand for Geronimo, Sacagawea and Sitting Bull.

I stand for Lewis and Clark.

I stand for John Muir.

I stand for Martin Luther King, Frederick Douglass and Rosa Parks.

I stand for Jim Thorpe and Muhammad Ali.

I stand for Jackie Robinson.

I stand for Pat Tillman.

I stand to express my gratitude for working people who continue to make our country safe and operational.

I stand for public servants and government officials.

I stand for teachers.

I stand for fire fighters.

I stand for POLICE OFFICERS.

I stand up [so others have] the right to sit down…

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