A solemn remembrance ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor yesterday included a surprise lesson on patriotism when A U.S. Navy admiral called out Colin Kaepernick for his disrespect of the flag for which so many Americans sailors and servicemen and women died.
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“Will the guests please rise, as able…” the ceremony’s host began. The moment is a profound beginning to what was truly a commemoration of deep respect, and yet it acknowledged something emotionally profound; there are people who want to stand to show their respects, but they can’t. They’re not physically able.
Later, U.S. Pacific Command Commander Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. made his views on the San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s anthem protest completely clear.
“You can bet that the men and women that we honor today – and those who died that fateful morning 75 years ago – never took a knee and never failed to stand when they heard our national anthem being played,” Harris said.
The unexpected jab at Kaepernick’s flag protest turned into a rallying point for the patriots gathered at Pearl Harbor. The attendees rose to their feet–those that could–and applauded the Admiral’s comments.
Kaepernick’s protest has created controversy across the country as more athletes join in his symbolic gesture meant to acknowledge that the country is plagued by racism.
Here’s the full ceremony.