I stand for the National Anthem before sporting events. Always have. Like the coin toss or delivering the lineup card, to me it's one of the rites signifying the start of the contest, not a jingoistic - or even patriotic - statement. And I stand because my dad stood, and I desperately wanted to be like him when I was a little boy. Still do, actually, but that's another topic for another time.
I also stand for those who choose not to stand for our Anthem. It's their right. As it is their right to protest a system that has, if we examine it honestly, has NEVER followed its own text and tenet - that all are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights. Life, Liberty, the Pursuit Of Happiness, Equality. Freedom Of Speech.
We are mired in a culture that rewards those who scream the loudest, stamp their little feet the hardest, get the most "likes" and "hits" and "retweets" on their "profiles". Really? What does that last phrase even mean?
Please enjoy this tune by Ry Cooder and David Lindley: Woody Guthrie's song VIGILANTE MAN