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I have given much thought recently about the meaning of our national anthem and the American flag (as I am sure many of you have) and what they stand for. They both stand for freedom. They both stand for valor (great courage), honor, respect, tradition, perseverance and justice. They both honor the history of our country and the many men and women who have fought and died to make this a great nation. Which is the real true meaning of the word “sacrifice.”
My nephew, LCPL Jacob Walter Beisel, USMC, made his sacrifice on March 31, 2006 at the age of 21. Jacob was with the canine unit sweeping through the streets of Fallujah. At that time Jacob was waving his men on. It was with Jacob’s heart that he pledged allegiance to the flag ,and it was an enemy bullet through that heart that took his life on the dirty streets of Anbar Province, Iraq.
Which brings me to the ad that Nike put out: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” I don’t know the name of the football player in the advertisement, and if I did, I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of recognizing him. I only know him because he started “taking a knee” during the playing of our national anthem. This shows a great disrespect for our American flag and our military.
Let’s be clear; this is an ignorant act. It was not a sacrifice. The first time he knelt, breaking historic tradition in our nation, he never knew what the consequences would be—unlike a soldier, who puts on the uniform every day, who knows what the consequences can be: the ultimate sacrifice. Just ask a Gold Star family to define sacrifice. The ungrateful football player is alive; he’s just unemployable. All owners who are against letting their players follow his example, and furthermore won’t hire the ignoramus, have the eternal respect of tens of millions; we say thank you.
Jacob didn’t have the time to watch football; he was too busy fighting a war. I believe that if Jacob were alive today, he would be sickened by the acts against our flag, our democracy, and our President. Jacob felt our country was the greatest gift God gave the American people. Yes, I said God. Today it seems like Americans are at war with each other. The only way that this war is going to end—we the people need to end it. Monday night football, bye-bye—Nike products, bye-bye.
And as for me, I look pretty darn good in my Adidas and Under Armour gear. (Even if I am still deplorable.)
[Tina L. Augello is a resident of Hawley, PA.]