Letters to the Editor

Show of respect

August 11, 2010


To the editor:

I attended the Free State High School band’s end-of-camp show on Aug. 6. To my surprise, no announcement was made prior to the band playing the National Anthem asking all who are able to please stand and remove their hats. What was even more shocking was that several people remained seated and even more didn’t remove their hats.

It is out of respect that we pay tribute to our nation, its flag and our military personnel all over the world by standing and removing hats when our National Anthem is playing. It is such a small thing to do but an important one. Our nation is a great nation and we need to remember that it was not easy making it so. Our military fought hard for what we have and is still fighting for it today!

I would only ask that you consider making an announcement prior to the National Anthem being played at any event asking all who are able to please stand and remove their hats, so as to at least give people the opportunity to do what is right and respectful.

I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, but the lack of respect displayed that night was quite offensive to me. Thank you for considering this opportunity to improve the showing of respect to our nation. God bless America!

Kendra Clouse,



Stephen Roberts 7 years, 3 months ago

Kendra - please get off your high horse. The National Anthem was not playe dat the beginning of the performance, unless you attended late. What the marching Firebirds were doing was to show what they have been working on during the camp. As a part of this, they showed what they perform at the beginning of a football game.

I do not believe the director or the students intentionally sat around saying what can we do to piss Kendra off.

Too many people make mountains out of molehills. I spoke to a retired military person after the performance and he wasn't offended but Kendra is really sensitive.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

Commuter, your attack on Kendra is sad. She wasn't being overly sensitive and I agree with what she said.

hail2oldku 7 years, 3 months ago

commuter - while you are correct that it happened after the start of their performance, it is still a sign of respect to stand and remove one's hat unless you are in full uniform at which case you would salute. Even if it caught you off guard when it started, the other 150 people around standing and paying respect should have been enough to clue you in if you remained seated.

I'm glad that the miltiary person around you was not offended. There was one near me that was and when he made it known to one of the people in the stands known that removing your hat is a sign of respect he got thanked for his service by having the police called because he "assaulted" the hat wearer when he placed his hand on the guy's shoulder.

While you and I might agree that Friday was not either the place or time for this man to confront someone about this lack of decorum, I found the hat wearer's reaction to be a Mount Everest out of a molehill to the situation.

Stephen Roberts 7 years, 3 months ago

I was at the event. I was one of the people who stood up, I apologize for not stating that fact.

Kendra since you are so concerned, please contact the band director to let him know that YOU will be volunteering your time to announce that national anthem will be played.

I think too many times people are accustomed to certain things and they do not remember that they may need to explain things to other people.

meggers 7 years, 3 months ago

"It is not up to Kendra or anyone else in the audience to remind everyone of proper procedures."

Tell that to Kendra's husband.

John Hamm 7 years, 3 months ago

And praytell why would it be necessary to explain the simple gesture of respecting the flag of the United States?

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

Why not respect the values and ideals of the country instead, like freedom?

Stephen Roberts 7 years, 3 months ago

Cheeseburger - there were no PA announcers and maybe the band director forgot because they do not normally announce it before they they perform because their is a PA announcer.

All I am saying is when need to show some tolerance. Maybe Kendra's letter is better suited for the band director instead of a letter to the editor.

I heard that during the National Anthem that some guy HIT another guy in the neck because he forgot to take off his hat and a by stander called the police. I was told this this morning. Is this true? I have respect for my country and I stood up during the National Anthem, but if this is true, sometimes people take things too far.

Communism is good in theory but PEOPLE screw it up.

hail2oldku 7 years, 3 months ago

What you keep honing in on is the small segment of the letter about no announcement. The bigger deal, and what cheeseburger has pointed out, is that people should have paid respect to the playing of the national anthem without needing a reminder. I was sitting with some friends who are originally from South America and they knew enough to stand and he removed his hat during the playing.

As for some guy hitting another guy that is not what I witnessed. As I noted above, one guy put his hand on another guys shoulder and admonished/lectured him for not removing his hat. The person who failed to remove his hat is the one who called the police for "assault". While it was neither the time nor the place to discuss decorum during the playing of the anthem, it was an even larger over-reaction to call the police. While I was not close enough to hear the exchange, I was able to observe the entire thing and nobody was ever struck.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

Maybe, but putting your hand on someone's shoulder without their permission is probably illegal.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, talk about a mountain out of a mole hill. Oh my gosh he touched me....... wahhhhhhhhhhh

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

You guys crack me up!

I guess your version of America involves bullying and inappropriate physical contact, regardless of our legal system.

jaywalker 7 years, 3 months ago

Illegal? Talk about overly sensitive.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

I guess you don't particularly respect our legal system.

jonas_opines 7 years, 3 months ago

The fine line between patriotism and nationalism.

oklahoma 7 years, 3 months ago

Why do I think a dead soldier who gave his or her life for what the flag represents would not care much about fine lines? I'm thinking the line is between those who love America and those who "are not proud of my country."

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

For those whose loved ones died in defense of our country, I doubt that they consider respect a superficial public display.

jonas_opines 7 years, 3 months ago

I doubt a dead soldier cares about much. You might try tweaking your hyperbole a little.

Mike Ford 7 years, 3 months ago

To further jonas_opines statement, this patriotism policing bit is a bit facist in nature, like Colonel Klink always making sure the seig heil bit was done on Hogan's Heroes at the proper time. Respect is fine and I have many veterans in my family, but I don't give a blank sign of respect to a country that still tolerates bigotry, racism, and bulliying, and invades countries whenever it feels like it. I watch with all of the tea party nonsense, lynn jenkins voting against the usda Black famers settlement bill and the Cobell Indian funds settlement bill and I wonder how a country can be so disconnected and yet expect blind alliegiance with this whole love it or leave it attitude. The freedoms fought for bit doesn't apply to the 564 federally recognized tribes nations and bands of indigenous people that have lived here the whole time and had our freedoms taken and robbed over and over by the U.S. Government, U.S. Congress, and the U.S. Supreme Court, not to mention U.S. States. Respect for a country will be given when all of it's citizens earn that respect by not acting like a bunch of clowns.

rtwngr 7 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, its too bad the white man didn't stay on his side of the world and leave the poor indigenous people of North America alone. Well, that didn't happen. That is the way the history of mankind has been. I am sure that I don't have to give you a lecture on the social interaction between tribes on this continent long before the white man came along and broke all of those treaties, created all of that bigotry, formed those tea parties and Lord know what else you have an axe to grind on. The bottom line is this country is the first to provide aid to and the first to defend those that cannot aid themselves or defend themselves. We have a nation that allows an individual to stand in the public square and call public officials names by virtue of the first amendment without fear of being hauled off to a gulag somewhere never to be heard from again. You sir, rise and sleep under the flag of this country that defends those rights for you. What's more, better men than you served this nation so that you might offer the obtuse opinion that you did today.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

None of that justifies the slaughter of native Americans and the ongoing mistreatment of them thereafter.

kansanbygrace 7 years, 3 months ago

Absolutely not, RATM. Most tribes had nation, treaty or neighbor relations. Much of warfare and conflict resolution had been via "coup" or non-lethal combat for a few generations.
In many ways, many of the major native tribes and nations were considerably more civilized and humane in this consideration than the immigrant hordes.

BorderRuffian 7 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps if people like you who would rather dishonor the country than honor it would begin acting more honorably, others might follow your example and begin acting in ways that YOU might respect. If you feel there is no reason to respect this country, either begin making changes to make it more respectable, or simply leave.

If you are so ashamed, go find another country more to your liking - one with more freedoms, less racism, less classism, more equality, and more justice. If you are so ashamed of this country, either help fix it or get the heck out. We don't want you if all you can do is whine.

Tristan Moody 7 years, 3 months ago

Key word being "should," not "shall," meaning it is nonbinding.

mom_of_three 7 years, 3 months ago

Well, there probably was not a PA announcer there and the band director was probably a little busy (or just forgot since its not usually his job) to make an announcement.
Or maybe, the national anthem was played so badly some people had a hard time recognizing it? Ok, just kidding with the last statement.

mom_of_three 7 years, 3 months ago

Well, there probably was not a PA announcer there and the band director was probably a little busy (or just forgot since its not usually his job) to make an announcement.
Or maybe, the national anthem was played so badly some people had a hard time recognizing it? Ok, just kidding with the last statement.

Amy Heeter 7 years, 3 months ago

Isn't it great that we live in a country where we can argue about wether to sit or stand during out nations athem? You can't get that everywhere. AMERICA!

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 3 months ago

If you don't learn how to respect your country and what it stands for, I doubt if you will understand how to respect anyone or anything.

It is one of the complaints you hear from teachers trying to teach today's students about character and maturity. It's a tough job these days.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

Since our country stands, in large part, for individual freedom, perhaps those who understand that and exercise it are more patriotic than those who wish to control/eliminate it.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 3 months ago

It's due to a mixture of the following:

disrespect indifference & ignorance

..or they're all just as anti-American as 'bozo'

beatrice 7 years, 3 months ago

Someone who calls our President childish names on a daily basis calling someone else anti-American. What a joke.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 3 months ago


I give brock insane obooboo the respect he rightfully deserves.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 3 months ago

beatrice; I'm guessing (I don't know it for sure) you were probably one of those that repeated and repeated that moronic statement; "I support the troops, but I don't support the war."

Well, guess what...it's my turn now!

I respect the OFFICE of the President of the United States... but I detest (with a few exceptions or good choices he's made) the man currently holding it.

Ken Lassman 7 years, 3 months ago

I was at the LHS version, and the request was made to have folks stand up before the anthem, and we all did, to my recollection. No big deal to ask, and I'm sure it was just an oversight from the Free State director. And I'll bet he won't forget again!

It ain't a sign of the decline of Western Civilization, either, tho--just an oversight. Nice reminder from this writer, but let's not make a mountain out of a molehill.

Time to move on.

Ken Lassman 7 years, 3 months ago

Well, now, don't you feel better? Sure hope so.

Mike Hatch 7 years, 3 months ago

Anyone over the age of 8 should know what to do when the National Anthem is played, and why.

If you didn't, well now you do.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago


Because some bully will come along and force you to if you don't?

That's what your version of America is?

Mike Hatch 7 years, 3 months ago

If one can't think of one thing about our country that you are grateful for or have respect for (past or present) and would like to show that gratitude or appreciation or respect by standing up (if one is able to do so), then I would feel pretty badly for that person.

Showing respect for our country is my choice and I expressed an opinion. Do you take issue with that? One can either follow proper form or not.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

One of the things I respect about our country is the value placed on individual freedom.

Your post makes it sound like we all learned some sort of lesson from the fact that someone battered someone else.

The lesson I learned is that intolerance and bullying are alive and well in America, and that many have no understanding whatsoever of the values this country was founded upon.

It's like the military wife who runs her household like the Army and claims she is pro-freedom.

Mike Hatch 7 years, 3 months ago

My post in no way has anything to do with the alleged assault that may or may not have happened a few days ago. Nobody should strongarm anyone into doing anything, regardless of how strongly they may feel on the subject.

I don't know where you got that from my post that I, in any way, condone violence of any type against someone in that situation.

One can wear flip flops, a tube top and hot pants to church (or any other place where conservative wear is expected), but I wouldn't want to sit next to them. It's their choice to dress like that and it's my choice to think it's not the greatest thing to do.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

So what is the meaning of:

"If you didn't, well now you do"?

Mike Hatch 7 years, 3 months ago

That if one honestly didn't know that it's generally considered "correct" to stand and take your hat off when the National Anthem is played, that they should know now by reading the story and comments.

Like not wearing white shoes after Labor Day, guys taking off their hats and caps when indoors. Some people don't know, and some know and do it anyway.

CommanderPost14 7 years, 3 months ago

You Go Kendra... Whether someone introduces the National Anthem or not, every citizen should know that when the National Anthem is played you render appropriate honors. NASCAR is working extremely hard at ensuring that all NASCAR personnel render these honors. I think that America is losing site of "Americanism". Bottom line is that all American Citizens should have learned this. Why was the Fireman ticketed for battery, when he was telling a person "that in this country we remove our hats during the National Anthem". I know that he touched the individual, is that a crime? From where I stand, the Fireman did what I would have done!!! I thank you for your service in Americanism. I served my time and I will always honor our Flag and our Country.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

Yes, putting your hands on someone without their permission is a crime.

ebyrdstarr 7 years, 3 months ago

Battery is "intentionally causing physical contact with another person when done in a rude, insulting, or angry manner." It is a class b misdemeanor.

Kirk Larson 7 years, 3 months ago

While I do stand for the anthem, this does again bring up the point that conservatives tend to think that the trappings of patriotism are more important than actual respect for our constitutional principles. Flag burning: not OK. Indefinite detention of prisoners: OK. Sitting through national anthem: not OK. Torture at off-shore detention facility: OK. And so on...

Jim Phillips 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm not sure what the big issue is. People are just following the lead of wonderful role models in how to respect the American flag living at 1600 Pennsylnaia Ave.

laphroaig 7 years, 3 months ago

But where are the wonderful role models of how to respect American flags that aren't living at 1600 Pennsylnaia Ave?

Mike Ford 7 years, 3 months ago

rtwngr, my rights existed in the choctaw language before you, your patriotism, or blind alliegeance to this country existed. My langauge was used as a code language in World War One by the Choctaw soldiers in the Texas National Guard in the lost battalions on the French/German border. My language was almost eliminated by your schools ,churches and government. Halito, nahollo okpulo, chim achukma, sa hochiffo ut Mike, sa okla ut chahta okla hannali. chishno ut ahalabi chitto.

Mike Hatch 7 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Mike Hatch 7 years, 3 months ago

It was a childish rant on my part and I apoligize for it. Those words I used are used on a daily basis by the original poster and it wears extremely thin.

Mike Hatch 7 years, 3 months ago

Somehow, I knew what that clip was going to be before I clicked it. Good movie.

Mike Ford 7 years, 3 months ago

choctaw a muskeogan langauge spoken by roughly 25,000 of the more than 300,000 Choctaw people in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma, and tribal members in all fifty states. The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma teaches the language online to tribal members outside of Oklahoma. The English word Okay came from Hoke which means "Good" in the Choctaw language. Who's the chucklehead now?

irvan moore 7 years, 3 months ago

i'm backin the firefighter, to many people have forgotten what that music stands for. now we have young men and women in harms way and some folks can't show respect when the National Anthem is played and to add insult to injury call the cops when they are chastized for it. geez, that sucks. Good job fireman, proud to have you in our city.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

I don't know what actually happened, but if the firefighter guy did just speak to the other guy, good for him. Sometimes rudeness and boorish behavior needs to be pointed out instead of ignored and embraced.

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

Either way it's not his business to "enforce" some social conduct he finds important.

pace 7 years, 3 months ago

The man he attacked was standing with his hand on his heart, that was not enough to suit the fire fighter, so the coward grabbed him by the neck. That is not a brave American standing up proud, He sounds like a mentally ill man with no judgment. You smear the people who serve this country by making such a jerk action one to be admired. I admire the men and women who bravely and honorably protect the freedoms. Not a thug with control issues. What next, attacking a cripple because he didn't stand, attacking someone because his expression wasn't rapt enough. He would be better teaching his kids not to touch others inappropriately.

Jayhawk4030 7 years, 3 months ago

I for one am a firm believer of paying your respects to our flag and country. I stand and remove my hat and place it over my heart as my father taught me at every playing of the National Anthem. I have been in the military for 23 years now as my father before me and I too wish those who do not stand and give the proper respect to the anthem would. However I also believe that all people have the right to take off their hat or not. It's their freedom whether I like it or not. Thats what our founding fathers and myself fought for. I was sitting directly behind the individual who was spoken to (and I use spoken too very loosely). The individual came behind the one who did not take his hat off and did not just tap him on the shoulder. I repeat he did not tap but grabbed the man behind the neck and started yelling at him at an ever escalating level. If he had just tapped him on the shoulder and spoke with him about the situation there would have been no problems, but he took it to far. There were young children and teenagers to include mine sitting around watching this all happen. So this individual is no better than the man who didn't take off his hat, but even worse a man who is a hot head who couldn't find a better way of handling the situation without putting his hands on someone.

Terry Jacobsen 7 years, 3 months ago

Hmmmm.. someone is lying. This is not what a previous witness said they saw... How do we tell who is telling the truth and who isn't?

denak 7 years, 3 months ago

The band director should have made an announcement. However, with that said, I side with Kendra. When the National Anthem is played, one should stand for the duration of the anthem.

To not do so is just boorish behavior. It is not a political statement. It is not a right. It is not sticking it to the White Man. It is just plain laziness and impolite behavior. One can expect this from a teenage boy trying to be "cool" and showing off for his friends by "rebelling" but in a grown adult, it is just a pathetic example of how some individuals have no idea how free they are and just how lucky they are to live in this country.

The way I look at it, if you are too lazy and won't even "go to the trouble" of standing up for the flag during the National Anthem, then one can be sure that you won't stand up for the flag when it really counts.


Kirk Larson 7 years, 3 months ago

Thanks. If anyone deserves the credential of some sort of secular sainthood it would be Saint George!

Adrienne Sanders 7 years, 3 months ago

Look, tradition states that one should stand, etc. during the national anthem. But there's no law that says you have to. Maybe the people who were sitting aren't even American, you don't know. At any rate, please respect their freedom to not salute a song.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 3 months ago

Standing up and/or not, removing a hat or leaving it on or not is not a sign of patriotism or not.

This was not the duty of Mr. Clouse to make that judgement call.

We do not live in America to have Patriotism dictated what it is or is not.

The people who pulled off the below questionable activities were always surrounded by American flags hmmmmmmmmmm:

  1. The Reagan/ Bush Savings and Loan Heist "There are several ways in which the Bush family plays into the Savings and Loan scandal, which involves not only many members of the Bush family but also many other politicians that are still in office and were part of the Bush Jr. administration. Jeb Bush, George Bush Sr., and his son Neil Bush have all been implicated in the Savings and Loan Scandal, which cost American tax payers over $1.4 TRILLION dollars (note that this was about one quarter of our national debt"). http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

  2. The Bush/Cheney Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers "And, yes, substantial fraud was involved. For example, mortgage companies and banks used deceit to get people to take on mortgages when there was no possibility that the borrowers would be able to meet the payments. Not only was this fraud, but this fraud depended on government authorities ignoring their regulatory responsibilities." http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

  3. Only 3 major Financial Institutions Were at Risk In Spite of What Were Told ? "There were just a handful of institutions that were terribly weakened. AIG the insurer, Bank of America, Citigroup, those three were clearly in very weakened form. So, many of the other big banks were not. http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

gogoplata 7 years, 3 months ago

I love this country but I have no problems with people who choose to sit during the national anthem. With the amount of corruption that is in our government and the wars that we fight I'm suprised there are not more people sitting. This nation is no longer the republic that was originally founded and we the people are far less free than we were when it began.

anitliars 7 years, 3 months ago

I always stand, hat off, hand on heart. Liable to cry too. Sappy patriotic like that. But....

The very REASON I love this country is b/c it was founded upon the right to be different, and stands for the proposition that we do NOT have to all agree. And that includes the protection of those with whom we disagree or who do not conform.

As much as I might dislike your use of free speech (and that includes speech and picketers and failure to show the flag and military respect), as long as that kind of conduct is protected (and tolerated) I know MY freedoms are in good shape. When we, as Americans, start insisting that others approve of or agree with your view points, we are well on our way to losing the very freedom that we say we cherish. Freedom of speech, without resort to disturbing the peace or violence, is a CORE tenent of our nation.

NO ONE has the "right" to make someone take off their hat or stand when the National Anthem is played. Mr. Clouse was out of order at best, and behaved like a thug at worst (if the reports and charges stand). While I may agree with his sentiment 150%, he was wrong in trying to force someone to conform to his value system.

One of the halmarks of a mature adult is to admit when you are wrong. Let's see if that happens.

RogueThrill 7 years, 3 months ago

We probably don't agree on much, but we do agree on what it means to be American. Kudos to you.

Bassetlover 7 years, 3 months ago

Kendra for President! Thanks for being on your high horse. Very well said!

Carol Braden 7 years, 3 months ago

Mrs. Clouse,

Thank you for your thoughtful letter to the editor asking that an announcement be made prior to the National Anthem. This would indeed help to prompt many on the tradition of showing respect while our National Anthem is playing. However, I believe a more effective way to model respect would have been by politely asking Mr. Mandell to remove his hat.

My family and I are actively involved in Boy Scouts. At every scout meeting, at least weekly, our scouts raise the American Flag and we say the pledge of allegiance to the flag - while saluting the flag and with hats off. Periodically, scouts and/or leaders forget to take off their hats. We gently remind them and hats come off quickly. My own husband, our Scoutmaster, has periodically forgotten. This is definitely not a sign of disrespect for our country! Our oldest son is an Airman in the United States Air Force. We are very proud of him! He just forgot.

That is what happened last Friday night at the Free State Marching Band performance. Our family and friends were sitting directly behind the Mandells. We witnessed the altercation. Your husband was rude and loud. He did grab Mr. Mandell. I felt the need to shield my 22 month old grandson from the confrontation. My husband and our friend (who is a Master Sergeant with the US Army and an Iraq War Veteran) both felt the need to defend Mr. Mandell to avoid an even more volatile confrontation. They were good models for how to intervene in a hostile situation. Mr. Mandell was a good model for how to not engage the attacker and work through the proper authorities to handle further conflict. I heard Mr. Mandell say, "If they guy would have just apologized for getting out of control, I wouldn't have asked the officer to cite him". I think your husband refused to do that.

In conclusion, I would suggest the best method of prompting everyone in a crowd to show respect for our country is to act as good citizens by using kindness, understanding, and non-hostile communication. This works well for our scout troop. And when a mistake is made (lack of hat removal or over-reaction to common customs of respect), please apologize. We all make mistakes.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 3 months ago

This was not a boy scout troop meeting. Regardless of why Mr. Mandell chose (or forgot) to take his hat off, it's none of Clouse's or anyone else's business how someone chooses to react to the playing of the national anthem.

Some people choose not to stand or otherwise react to the national anthem precisely because it's been co-opted as a symbol of a right-wing ideology which many people find to be anything but "patriotic."

Carol Braden 7 years, 3 months ago

I agree - the band performance was not a Boy Scout Meeting. My point is that polite prompting is much more effective than hostile confrontation. As members of a military family, I was more offended by Mr. Clouse's behavior than other people who chose or forgot to remove their hats. I was working to help teach my grandson to put his hand over his heart rather than standing at attention with my hand over my heart. I hope this wasn't offensive to anyone. If so, I apologize and hope they wouldn't grab me and yell at me as Mr. Clouse did to Mr. Mandell.

hail2oldku 7 years, 3 months ago

You make it sound more dramatic than it looked from a couple rows back and off to the south. Since you were right there though I will defer to you from now on, though I still feel it falls somewhere between the two versions.

I will say that I was able to hear Mr. Clouse "bark" twice during the first few bars of the anthem "hats off". Why didn't you or your husband take that opportunity to politely nudge Mr. Mandell like you would someone at a scout meeting?

jafs 7 years, 3 months ago

How about everyone just minding their own **** business?

beatrice 7 years, 3 months ago

Putting your hands on another in an aggressive manner is a far greater act of incivility than failing to remove your hat during the playing of the national anthem. Grabbing someone from the back of the neck could have escalated into a major situation. I know many who would not have allowed what Mr. Clouse apparently did without responding in a physical and even more aggressive manner.

pfunk81 7 years, 3 months ago

If Mr. Clouse wants to defend the anthem so much, why not go join the military where you can beat people up all day long. You make me sick! Lawrence can find other firefighters.

Beelzebub 7 years, 3 months ago

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barlowtl 7 years, 3 months ago

After reading these postings.
I do believe it would be advisable for me to carry my handicapped card so I won't be challenged for sitting during the playing of the star spangled banner. Do need to know though, should I wear it around my neck, so it can be seen from the back or the front.

beatrice 7 years, 3 months ago

So what if I am holding a flag and break into the national anthem at the airport while you are hurrying to catch your plane? If you don't stop and go through all the "proper" steps, would that mean you don't respect our military? I don't think so. I know this was band camp, but what is it about sporting events that requires this moment of showing respect for the nation? Of all the things we do, why sporting events? Why not before the opera, or at the theater before a movie starts? Athletes are just doing their job, so it would be like breaking into song at the beginning of your workday -- every single time. Since you don't and athletes do, does that mean they are way more patriotic than everyone else? When you are watching a game at home, do you do the routine of standing, placing hand on heart, and take your hat off?

The more I think about it, the more this letter makes me angry. Makes me want to just grab somebody by the throat for imagining they are more patriotic than others because they are taking part in a social ritual that has no grounding in common sense or actual patriotism.

RogueThrill 7 years, 3 months ago

Your husband lacks a sense of perspective and the ability to control himself.

Alceste 7 years, 3 months ago


All you flag waving, respecting arm chair nothings': If the flag and people being paid to work for it (as in the ALL volunteer Armed Services) are all so important and you believe in what they do so much, here's an idea:

ENLIST YOURSELF or have one of your off spring ENLIST and go serve as cannon fodder.

My money says that 9 out of 10 of ya will do a fall back on "....Let George do it.....".....

Some over the hill old man wants to go into the stands of a sporting event and take to task a "disrespectful" participant????: Funny how the guy doing the explaining, what with his oh so offended sense of propriety.....doesn't go over just as this heinous crime is occurring....and even funnier how he sneaks up on some guy's back.....WOOW......is that how Lawrence chooses to fight fires and is that kind of person we as a Community want working for OUR fire department. I don't think so.....Let this Rambo, flag waving patriot go get a real job.....my money says he can't do it......

BULLY.....that's all this story is about....BEING A BULLY.......

OH...and just to SHUT UP the bully pulpit....I'm a 2 tour combat Viet Nam vet, decorations and all.....including my framed BCD.....difference???? I WAS DRAFTED.....I didn't ask to go nowhere.....except maybe the 7th Spirit.....

JoRight 7 years, 3 months ago

ffs, who cares. Get off of it.

If someone wants to not take off their hat, stand up etc so be it. Your hubby was in the wrong by even opening his mouth in the first place.

If it is indeed true that the victim was "grabbed by the back of the neck" then yes, I hope your husband gets what he deserves. I know for sure I wouldn't want him assisting someone out in the field that was "unpatriotic."

JustNoticed 7 years, 3 months ago

Nationalism and fundamentalism of all kinds are the real evils. And we, the USA, have plenty more than our share of both. It's not about pride or values, it's about consciousness.

Alceste 7 years, 3 months ago

ummmm.....Ms. Clouse.....Sieg Heil? Is that why I was legally kidnapped in 1970 and then spent 2 of the best years of my life "defending" in Viet Nam? Ok....I was a dope and signed up on my own for the 2nd.....but is that why Ms. Clouse....so some insulated, self-appointed and annoited "citizen" can tell me yet again.....some 40 years later.... to stand at attention AND place my hand somewhere where said someone has determined is THE right place? I'm baffled.

Elvis Costello speaks to what is written and implied by Ms. Clouse above in his song "Night Rally":

I would send out for assistance but there's someone on the signal wire And the corporation logo is flashing on and off in the sky They're putting all your names in the forbidden book I know what they're doing but I don't want to look

You think they're so dumb, you think they're so funny Wait until they've got you running to the Night rally, night rally, night rally

Everybody's singing with their hand on their heart About deeds done in the darkest hours That's just the sort of catchy little melody To get you singing in the showers

Oh, I know that I'm ungrateful I've got it lying on a plate And I'm not buying my share of souvenirs You can stand to attention You can pray to your uncle Only get that chicken out of here Everyone gets armbands and 3-D glasses Some are in the back room And they're taking those night classes

You think they're so dumb, you think they're so funny Wait until they've got you running to the Night rally, night rally, night rally

Richard Heckler 7 years, 3 months ago

Soldiers cannot remove their hats because it is part of the uniform.

Women are not expected to remove their hats.

Emily Post, in 1922, says “It is not necessary to add that every American male citizen stands with his hat off at the passing of the ‘colors’ and when the national anthem is played. If he didn’t, some other more loyal citizen would take it off for him.” It would seem to me that this act of forcing someone to remove their hat would disrespect the flag; further, the more “loyal citizen” she describes is actually virtually spitting on what the flag and the anthem represent.

On that note, I think one soldier’s comments I read recently said it best when he said the following: “I always thought showing true respect for the flag and song itself was in having the right to choose whether to keep my hat on or off.”

notorious_agenda 7 years, 3 months ago

Several posters above me have suggested that not standing or removing your hat is somehow an expression of freedom and patriotic. While I agree that you completely have that right, and expressing your freedom is surely patriotic, I completely disagree that this would ever be a situation to arguably do so. The singing of the national anthem represents incalculable efforts in the name of freedom lasting far longer than any one man or woman's lifetime; One instance of sitting will never express freedom in a better social vernacular than standing and removing your hat to show solidarity for our national anthem. In order for one to know you are making an expression of your first amendment rights they would have to actually be you or the onus is on you to convey that message somehow if you are actually trying to make an expression. In the midst of the communal and collective agreement of the people of our nation to sing this anthem at an event, one would have a very hard time conveying any stronger message of freedom of speech in my opinion. its like wearing bright cheery colors to a funeral and saying its out of respect for the deceased. If this is somehow some new form of expression, maybe the tactics should be something different than sitting with your hat on, I don't find that very expressive at all in fact its a lack of expression if you were already sitting with a hat on.

There is no doubt touching someone without their permission is assault as defined by the law and should never be tolerated. There is no doubt that people who are not able , sick, tired, young, or old, should by all means remain seated without feeling guilty or fearing attack. There is no doubt that many of these people had no clue or were not expecting to stand at the moment and obviously were not meaning disrespect.

Sitting on purpose, sure, I can understand a little, but why come in public just to be antisocial at a band event. I wouldn't notice unless you were a recognizable group and stood the whole rest of the time.

What do I know I still remove my ball cap when I meet people and when I enter restaurants and when I am at a public event with the anthem being played... its a painless sign of respect.

Alfred_W 7 years, 3 months ago

Speaking of respect, Mr. Clouse didn't show a lot of respect for the kids in the band or nearby members of the audience by launching into his beratement of Mr. Mandell while the rest of us were trying to enjoy the show. Those of us in the vicinity of the interaction were none too excited about listening to his outburst while the band was continued on with their pregame music on the field.

pace 7 years, 3 months ago

What a crock. It is not anyone's business when and if someone can stand up or not. It does not justify attacking someone, especially at a family event. Write a letter to the Editor, show by example, teach you kids what one should do. Keep you hands off others should also be something one teaches one's kids. Fail

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