There’s a time to protest, there’s a time to stand

Brook DardenImagine a child watching as men lower his father’s casket into the ground, seeing a widow receive her husband’s flag as a symbol of his service for this country, or a family member leaning over the casket of a fallen soldier.

I have a lot of respect for people who have fought for this country, who continue to fight for this country and the families of these people.

My family has a history of people who have fought for this country, and there are still some who continue to protect this country today.

These Americans are why I stand for the national anthem, Pledge of Allegiance and acknowledgement of the flag.

Growing up, class would not begin without first reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. I grew up listening to my mother sing the Star Spangled Banner at every Friday night rodeo in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, and then I started to sing it myself at all my school’s events.

There was never a moment in my life where I doubted why everyone stood up to respect our flag.

Then recently the controversy of kneeling or not even being present during the national anthem arose in the NFL.

I respect people who choose to do this because people fought for the right to to have that freedom; however, I believe that we should respect those who fought those battles.  

I stand for the flag because of those who have fought and continue to fight to protect America’s freedom.

My great uncle fought in World War II in the Battle of the Bulge. He was a medic, and as a medic, he would take turns with others who were serving to go in and out of the battle.

He had already taken his turn of going into the battle and helping as much as he could; however, he ended up taking another guy’s place due to a jeep not starting.

My great uncle then went in to help the man who had been shot and ended up getting shot himself. From this he lost a leg and an arm. He later died of a brain tumor.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, more than 1.2 million Americans have died protecting this country. I believe that standing to recognize the fallen shows respect as well as a “thank you” for giving us the lives we have today.

I also stand to be proud of the United States of America. There has been pain throughout history, but without that pain, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

The problems in the past, present and future help pave a path for America and help make a change. I am not proud of the injustice that has occurred in our country, but painful moments created change.

Without these challenges, there would be no history, no change, no lessons and no pride in being American.

Finally, I stand for the flag because it unites this country.

If we put aside politics, race, gender, and any other topic that divides everyone, we are all people. We can disagree on many subjects, but when it comes down to everything, we live in one of the greatest countries of all, and we are so blessed to be American.

We are able to worship in public, protest, speak our minds, and even write pieces like this where in many other places people do not have those rights.

I stand because this flag unites who we are as Americans and how we got to where we are today.

I do not protest that we all need to stand for the flag, but I stand because I wouldn’t have the life I have today without the flag, the soldiers who fought for our freedom and those who continue to protect this country.

There is a time to protest, but there is also a time to respect and thank those who let you have that freedom.  

This is why I stand.



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