End the divisiveness over who is or who is not a patriot

The singular “official” military protocol when the USA flag is present, during public performance of the national anthem, is that active military members must stand at attention and salute the flag if serving as honor guard.

There are no laws that require citizens to stand at attention, remove hats or place hands on hearts. Over time these acknowledgments have evolved into customs and traditions.

President Trump has started yet another divisive controversy, pitting citizens against citizens. His tweet that people who kneel during the National Anthem are not patriotic deepens an unhealthy division within our country. Tweeting that the NFL should require players to stand during the national anthem adds fuel to the fire.

Why is kneeling less patriotic than standing? Players taking a knee demonstrate their desire to improve our country by calling attention to discrimination. Who writes these patriotism rules anyway? Certainly not politicians or presidents.

Every day, citizens practice patriotism in unique and individual ways: treating each other with respect as equals; paying their taxes; being PTA members, teachers, volunteers, state legislators or clergy members; or serving in the military. In other words, a patriot is anyone who loves this country and who works to make it better. Patriotic examples are as varied as our populace.

The president and his believers choose their patriotism. But violating a citizen’s right to free speech flies in the face of patriotism. Please stop this needless divisiveness over who is or who is not a patriot. We all are.

– Charlotte Rempfer

More in Letters to the Editor

End to DACA would be devastating

In just two months President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program… Continue reading

All lit up

While driving around the Kent area it is enjoyable to see how… Continue reading

Money well spent for a safe piece of a curb

On June 2, I sent out an email to the Kent Mayor… Continue reading

Some regulations worth keeping

A constant refrain bleated from Republicans has been ”excessive government regulation” of… Continue reading

State way behind in financing our students’ futures

Columnist Jerry Cornfield asserts that “the economy generates billions of extra dollars… Continue reading

Dreaming of a white Christmas

The weather outside may not be frightful, but it is still the… Continue reading

Big bill, little return

I just got a bill on my car license tabs. What a… Continue reading

More apartments, more burden

More new apartment developments are being granted property tax waivers lasting eight… Continue reading

Put the $3 million elsewhere

After reading the article about spending $3 million to make downtown Kent… Continue reading

Economic collapse: remember ‘08?

Even if you do remember 1993 (“About our business climate today? Remember… Continue reading

17, and eager to vote

The voting age should be dropped from 18 years old to 17… Continue reading

A right to arm, protect, defend

A gunman recently entered a Texas church and killed numerous helpless people… Continue reading