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Letter: Kneelers are standing up for their fellow man

Kneelers are standing up for their fellow man

All those who are affronted by the kneelers during the national anthem need to look beyond their only tenet of defense. The flag is more than a symbol of our soldiers and veterans who fought overseas for freedom.

The red symbolizes hardiness and valor; the white, purity and innocence; while the blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice. Prior to the Civil War, the flag was primarily used to stake U.S. territories. Afterward, the flag became an emblem of the fight to preserve the Union. With the abolition of slavery and the opening of the Union ranks to black soldiers, many African-Americans saw the flag in a new light, as a symbol of freedom and the promise of citizenship.

Many Americans today do not feel that justice is being served for all. The fight for freedom overseas does not include the fight for freedom and justice that still exists among many African-Americans and minority groups in our country. This is not an opinion; it is supported by valid data.

I applaud the NFL players who take a knee. To those who say, “how dare they, they are millionaires and should be thankful,” I have two things to say. First, the players should thank themselves; they are the best and they worked hard to get there. The NFL signs their paycheck, not the USA. Second, because the players are millionaires, they don’t have to kneel. They do it to bring attention to those without a voice and to those who have died as a result of injustices.

So, to the writer who called the kneelers “morons” and to the writer who said “united we stand, divided we fall,” kneelers are standing up for their fellow man, and are taking the opportunity to point out how divided as a nation we are on issues of inequality and injustice.

People who are affronted by the kneelers are looking at one-third of the flag’s meaning and taking it personally. That is a childlike and unempathetic stance for a country that extols “liberty and justice for all.”

Catherine Breen

West Seneca

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