Nowadays it’s unavoidable that, to some degree, folks simply get used to occurrences that one time would have elicited howls of protest. Get inescapably thumped on the head often and regularly enough? Your head gets harder, you factor it in and press on.
Take the National Anthem controversy for instance – certain professional athletes continue to kneel in protest during the revered song and not a few Americans barely give that dis a second thought anymore.
Then something happens which has the unintended and unexpected consequence of waking up slumbering people …
Mad World News reports one such development:
“A dozen cheerleaders from Cornell High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, decided to take a knee during the National Anthem. …”
“Not only were there World War II veterans present at the high school football game, serving as the honor guard, but the veterans had been set up by the Superintendent of the school, Aaron Thomas, who invited them to the game, knowing that his cheerleaders were planning the disgusting protest. However, Thomas along with his cheerleaders would soon realize they had made the biggest mistake of their lives, as their antics would then go on to backfire in a huge way.”
“Shortly after the protest, a journalist by the name of Sarah Slayer caught wind of the incident and decided to make a video of the events, artfully piecing together media clips and details, highlighting how the World War II veterans were so distraught over the disrespect they witnessed at the game, that many of these elderly heroes ‘had tears flowing down their faces.’ ”
“Thomas’ phone line was flooded with irate people from all across America, and within a week, he received over 650 death threats. … Thomas then reached out to the local media, so he could whine about how Sarah Slayer’s video had made him a victim. He then accused the journalist of piecing together false details about him.”
“It’s “ripped apart our community … ripped apart my household,” Thomas whined. Unfortunately for him, in addition to being the most hated man in Pittsburg, Thomas was about to also be proven a liar, which you can see from Slayer’s second video that proves that Thomas knew about his cheerleaders’ planned protest, but he did nothing to stop it.”
“Karma still wasn’t quite done calling, however. [P]olice had to be called to do regular patrols around the school, and according to MSN, the school’s homecoming game had to be canceled “amidst major safety concerns.”
There are no rationalizations for death threats or chatter promoting violence in reaction to this incident, obviously – but isn’t it refreshing to see that people are still capable of righteous indignation over the dishonoring what that truly matters?
“Taking offense over refusing to kneel during a song? Gimme a break!” some world weary sophisticates might grouse. “Getting bent out of shape over a piece of cloth colored red, white and blue? Puh-lease!” others might snap. “Veterans crying about it? How corny!” 2018’s hardened cynics might scoff.
Then again, the above misanthropes are engaging in the luxury of their smirking and sneering while safe and sound and free – in part owed to the sacrificial efforts of those who have served to protect and preserve America; those implicitly honored in the singing of “The Star Spangled Banner” and the raising of Old Glory at public events – like a high school football game. It’s stunning that blazing reality is lost on so many who are too “evolved” to get all sentimental over patriotic values.
Yet, sometimes “corny” is actually just legitimate respect and appreciation for what someone else has done for you.
Yes, sometimes “sentimental” is the heart reacting appropriately to something of inestimable value that touches us in a way that is hard to contain.
Shedding a tear, indeed, is precisely the proper way to react periodically when an outrage is visited upon a reality that ought, instead, to be esteemed and cherished.
Paying tribute to the American flag, rising to your feet, hand-over-heart and singing along when Francis Scott Key’s composition is performed is merely one exercise of many which ought to remind us there are elements of life that truly matter. They’re designed to elicit a pause and a moment’s reflection so that we don’t forget there is more to life than eating, drinking, sleeping, temporal pleasures – followed by death.
Of this controversy, the principle of the school, while offering an apology, also nervously and mind-bogglingly murmured, “If anything it created a healthy discussion within the walls of our building.” Well, yeah, I suppose that is one upside to an especially scabby event – but it hardly justifies it, doesn’t come close to sanitizing it.
“It elicited passionate reactions from both sides, but particularly from those who felt the protests flied in the face of area veterans who were on hand to serve as the honor guard for the game,” MSN reported. “Critics of the protesters later published a video that trickled on to social media directly calling out the teens and leaving some concerned about their safety at Friday’s game.”
Again, stirring concern about others’ safety is not cool. Standing up against the flouting of those who put their lives on the line for our great nation? Very, very cool.
In case those who jeer at “God-and-Country” types felt as if “old-fashioned” notions like love of one’s patrimony and basic respect for public conventions and traditions had been put to bed – a bunch of good folk over in the Pittsburgh, PA region have confirmed — it just ain’t so!