This feature appears in the January '18 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association.
In this age of self-absorbed political correctness, I thank God for one pure truth that stands out from the crowd.
NRA members stand.
We stand for freedom and fight to keep it.
We stand for our families and for our friends and neighbors.
We stand for the liberty and values that have always defined us, and our America, as the greatest nation on Earth.
NRA members stand and, when the flag of our great nation is presented, we stand with resolution and pride.
If we do not pass on our patriotism and love of country to our children, how can we expect them to cherish our founding principles?We stand for our flag, for our country and for our national anthem.
Others might sit or kneel or raise a fist or do whatever the latest societal fad might call for, but NRA members stand, hands over hearts, in honorable reflection upon our freedom and those who have fought for it.
We stand to honor our brave servicemen and servicewomen, and their families. We stand in honor of America’s law enforcement officers who protect our streets, secure our borders and do everything they can to keep us safe at home.
For these courageous men and women, and especially for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defending our freedom, standing for them is the least we can do … and the first thing we should always do.
For us, it’s difficult to imagine any American not standing during the national anthem to honor our flag and country.
After all, Americans have stood for their flag since June 14, 1777, the day the Continental Congress ordained it. In August of 1814, after the British burned the White House and U.S. Capitol, Americans feared that the Union Jack, the British flag, would soon fly over all of America again.
It was just three weeks later when a Maryland attorney, Francis Scott Key, was so moved at seeing the U.S. flag victoriously flying over Fort McHenry that he scripted “The Star Spangled Banner,” now our national anthem.
No matter our political or social differences, the American flag and its anthem should always be the one thing that unites us all.
In his farewell address, President George Washington, said it best. “The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations,” Washington said.
We are all Americans, regardless of any other differences that may exist between us. Standing for the flag is a grand symbol that, no matter our race or religion or political persuasion, we are Americans first and foremost.
And, as Americans united in the freedom we all cherish … we stand.
We stand to honor our democracy as the world’s most noble form of government of a free society.
We stand to honor the principle of liberty and justice for all. Our patriotism is forged in pride in the principles of our nation that paved the way for change, for individual freedom and opportunity for all of our citizens.
We stand for the more than 1 million Americans who have lost their lives at war … on our behalf.
We stand and honor the same flag draped across the coffins, respectfully folded, and honorably presented to the grieving spouses and families of those brave service men and women.
We also stand for our children and grandchildren, the next generation of Americans.
If we do not pass on our patriotism and love of country to our children, how can we expect them to cherish our founding principles? Where will they find the moral compass that sets America apart from other nations?
We stand for the flag and anthem, for our hope in the next generation, that they may embrace the values and patriotism and moral courage to one day lead our great country. We stand so they, too, can stand.
With pride and strength, we rise to our flag, resolved to never be forced to “take a knee” when it comes to honoring and defending our freedom.
We stand out from the crowd. We are Americans. We are patriots. We are the NRA!