Spending Memorial Weekend in Washington, D.C. for the first time really opened up my eyes to what my freedoms cost. Looking out over Arlington National Cemetery and seeing rows on rows on rows of people who have sacrificed it all so that I can enjoy more liberties than I could in any other nation on the globe made me realize just how important it is that we honor our military.
I’ve always been pro-military, pro-police, but never had I thought about what it meant for them to leave their families and risk it all. For me. For you. For each and every American whether from San Diego, California or Searcy, Arkansas. As the United States Navy Band played the Star Spangled Banner, and the entire amphitheater stood to honor those who have given their lives for their country, I thought about the NFL.
I thought about how some of the wealthiest, most privileged people in the world choose to use their platforms to protest. I thought about how there is real oppression in the world for minorities and religious groups and women. And I thought about how just living in America grants us so many more privileges than anywhere else in the world. People risk their lives to live here. They would rather die trying to live in the U.S.’s version of “oppression” than to stay in their own countries where they survive without hope for a future for their children.
As I thought about these things, I realized this is why I stand. I stand because some of those who fought for my rights, cannot. I stand because the men and women who sacrificed it all, did so to ensure that I had the full opportunity for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I stand because I know I have the freedom to kneel, but I don’t and I won’t because the rows on rows on rows of people buried in Arlington National Cemetery gave their lives so that I will continue to have a voice to fight for what’s right. And I don’t fight from my knees, unless it’s in prayer.