When U.S. Navy Admiral Harry Harris took the podium to deliver a speech on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor on Wednesday, he took a moment to call out NFL player Colin Kaepernick while people stood for the national anthem during the memorial speech.
While discussing the men who served during the attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. Pacific Command Commander Adm. Harris said that those soldiers never failed to stand during the playing of the national anthem.
His remarks during the 75th anniversary of the fateful attack that spurred America into World War II drew a lengthy standing ovation from the crowd. Many revelers were heard hooting and whistling as the U.S. Admiral shamed the NFL player for his unpatriotic display all season...
Thousands gathered to honor those lost during the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor all those years ago. They took their place on a pier across the harbor from the very place the USS Arizona sank during the Japanese attack in 1941.
“You can bet that the men and women we honor today – and those who died that fateful morning 75 years ago – never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our national anthem being played,’ Harris said to nearly a minute of clapping, whistles and whoops.
“Hearing the words ‘the land of the free and the home of the brave’ means something special for every American, every day,” the Navy Admiral said.
“But today – on December 7th – it takes on extraordinary significance, as we’re joined here in this hallowed place by World War II veterans and survivors of the attacks on military bases all across Oahu, including right here at Pearl Harbor.”
Admiral Harris would never have said this in his speech, if Colin Kaepernick, the backup quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers hadn’t started protesting police brutality and race relations in America by taking a knee during the playing of the anthem.
Kaerpernick’s protest has drawn criticism and admiration from the differing sides.
Some fans have assaulted the quarterback, throwing a bottle at him toward the start of the season back in October.
Kaepernick is a devout Christian. He was born a Lutheran and his adorned with Bible verse tattoos. His protest gained national attention when he first declined to stand during the anthem back in August before a pre-season game.
Admiral Harris has been a top U.S. military officer in the Asia-Pacific since he overtook command back in May 2015.
In February, Harris expressed concern about China’s militarization of the South China Sea. He fears it is “as certain as a traffic jam” in Washington D.C.
More than 300,000 United States troops are assigned to protect the Pacific corridor. Admiral Harris is in charge of these troops and has them stationed from the U.S. West Coast all the way to the western border of India.
Readers from all over the world shared their thoughts on MailOnline. Most agree with the Admiral:
“Just because he has the “right” to disrespect the flag (and the country it represents) doesn’t mean it is the “right” thing to do. By the way, it is the men and women in uniform that gave him that right,” a Greensboro resident wrote.
“The NFL is losing viewers because of K. and others so now they won’t pan the camera on the players, only the flag during the national anthem. I guess they think if we don’t see them taking a knee, we’ll forget about it. Wrong!”
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