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I’ve recently engaged in a discussion of the rights of all Americans to express their opinions freely, whether or not I agree with them. I suppose I’m old-fashioned because I will ALWAYS stand for the National Anthem…for as long as I am able to stand. I will not use my cell phone or carry on conversations…or chew gum…or listen to my mp3 player…or in any other manner ignore the opportunity to show my own respect for the National Anthem (which, to me, deserves our FULL respect…whenever and wherever it is played.) I will stand in silent reverence until the last note echoes in the air.

This is my right as an American. It’s also my right as an American to express my own opinion here…because my rights are protected and defended by those who are willing to dedicate THEIR lives to make sure we all HAVE these very rights. The National Anthem is not a racial statement. It is not an opportunity for grand-standing. It is not “just a song.” It IS the symbol of respect for a nation that has struggled and will continue to struggle to provide EVERYONE the freedoms our Constitution states are the rights of all Americans….even the ones who, for whatever reason, choose to disrespect the symbols of those freedoms, and disregard the lives of the men and women….of all ethnic origins….that have been freely given throughout our history to assure that ALL Americans have them.

This is MY opinion…and my last words on this subject.