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Many opinions about for this kneeling of professional football players during the playing of our National Anthem. They claim it is their "freedom of speech" protected by the Constitution. Remember this - the freedom to do something doesn't make it the right thing to do! There is a thing called respect that is being totally wronged here.

The Star-Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Keyes, during a war where brave men and women offered their lives to give us the right to live free in the pursuit of happiness. It never guaranteed that we would be free from discrimination, or hatred, or any other human error.

What we have wrong in this country has existed all through history. We are better off now than we were several years back, but we still have our problems. These wrongs are individual characteristics, not our Nations wrongs. For you to disrespect our National Anthem does absolutely nothing to change our individual wrongs.

The Nations Anthem isn't the time or place to protest. The freedoms we have here were earned by our armed forces, not by law enforcement protecting our streets. We should be giving respect and thanks to this Nation which gives us the freedoms we enjoy.

I am an 80-year-old veteran who has served this country. You should think about what I have said. Show some thanks and respect for all you've been given. What you are doing will never get approval from honorable people. Those of us who served our Nation will never accept your actions.

Teach younger children to show respect by showing it yourself. That's the right thing to do! 

R.J. Thomas


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