There is a good chance that a lot of people will be offended by what I say in this post, and there’s also a chance that people will be ignorant enough to be so set in their ways that they cannot see the ways of others. What I choose to speak about is my opinion alone and if you do not like it welp too bad. I don’t really have to care if you like it or not and that is my right. So if you are easily offended by other peoples views on life I suggest you stop reading right now.
So the whole standing for the national anthem has been a thing lately in the news with professional athletes. In my opinion it is ridiculous and has been so sensationalized by the media, that people now focus more on the act of kneeling during an anthem instead of the meaning of the kneeling in bringing awareness to actual injustices in the world or in their countries. I hear people say quite often, “well people need to stop being so offended all the time” but as soon as someone doesn’t agree with their point of view then they become offended and ultimately a hypocrite (again in my opinion). While I feel like it is true that people these days take things way too far in what they are offended by, and that many of them are hacks that see something on social media and all of a sudden decide they are offended by it or jumping on the bandwagon without doing their research; I do still believe that there are many intelligent people who do get offended and have every right to be at the treatment they receive from others, the treatment of their people, and/or other numerous injustices in their country.
I believe that everyone is entitled to sit, stand, kneel or whatever during the national anthem as long as they are respectful about it while others who may not hold their same beliefs sit stand and/or kneel. I think everyone has their own reasons for choosing which one depending on who they are, where they come from and what they believe or do not believe. For me personally, I always stand for the national anthem; that’s how I was raised. You stand and pay respect to your country and the men and women who have fought and died to protect it. I stand for many more reasons today including to pay respect to friends who have fought for the country, for their families, and even just simply because I do believe we live in the best country in the world. Our anthem gives me goosebumps everytime I hear it. It makes me feel proud of where I come from, of the sacrifices that others have made so that I could have a really overall great opportunity at a good life. So That is why I stand.
For other people in this country who may not have been as fortunate as me to grow up in a situation to succeed or who are marginalized for many various reasons, I can totally empathize with the fact that they don’t stand for our anthem. Canada has done a really good job at hiding our historical tragedies/outright injustices in which we oppressed anyone that is not Caucasian. The thing is that it still continues to this day. We as country literally tried to beat indigenous people white. That’s just sickening to me. We as a country sell our clean water for pennies to other countries. Our small predominantly white towns in Canada are full of people who talk shit about anyone who isn’t white (its true, they cannot deny it). People in our country still feel the judgement/persecution of being LGBTQ (I know acronym this has been added to as of late.my bad), and especially having to do with mental health issues don’t get me started. Even the way we treat our own troops after they return home from war is cruel and sickening, when they should be taken care of for the rest of their lives; no questions asked. Any of these I can completely understand someone kneeling our sitting out the anthem for, or at the same time despite all of what they faced in their lives so far still standing for the anthem. Sometimes people feel the need to stand instead for the justice, the equality, the equity, the love, the peace that should come from the sacrifice our troops make or have made, instead of the anthem. and I think that’s okay too.
I have not done a poll from soldiers but I can imagine they would have mixed views on the topic like all Canadians have, or all Americans have etccc. Some would say that you stand for the flag because I fought so that you could stand to hear that anthem and live the life you are living, which I totally respect, its a very valid point. I also think some soldiers would say that they fought for your right to be free to choose whether you sit or stand for the anthem and/or protest it because you do feel what your country is doing to its people is right.
Again, as I have stressed in many other posts, it really comes down to being able to see both sides of the coin. Not everyone thinks like you do, not everyone shares the same opinions as you, or beliefs, or religious thoughts. Some people have had a much different upbringing that doesn’t suggest this country is so great and so if they want to protest it, then so be it. And lets be honest, everytime the anthem is played in your home on a tv you are not standing, so what does that make you? It makes you just a person who gets to make that choice I think.
I choose to stand for our anthem because of what I believe our country can become, and I stand for the anthem to honour those who may not be able to. I mostly stand because it is how I was taught and raised to show respect. Respect for my grandfathers who fought in WWII, respect for my friends relatives who fought, respect for my friends who have fought and anyone overall who has fought for me to be free. Free to choose to sit or stand, free to share my opinion on an online blog, free to access clean water and food, free to have an opportunity at a good life. Respect, Freedom, and Empathy are why I choose to stand. I respect other peoples sacrifices, I value and treasure my freedom and empathize with others who may not share my EXACT same opinion who have struggled often.
I think I did something similar to this already for Canada Day a while back, but there is not such a thing as thanking our troops too much.
For Our Troops, You are My Heroes!
Thank you, Your Bawd,