Should we be required to stand for the national anthem?

By _Jade Beausoleil_ / _Herald Contributor_

College Republican

With the start of fall on Sept. 23 comes plenty of apple pie and Sunday night football games during which the national anthem will be played. There has been controversy over “The Star-Spangled Banner” from the 1968 Olympics to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) call to replace the national anthem in 2017. Lately, there has been debate over whether you should stand, sit or like former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, kneel during the anthem. 

While I am a big supporter of peaceful protest, during the national anthem may not be the best time for it. Refusing to stand for the national anthem can be seen as a sign of disrespect to the members of the Armed Forces, men and women who work hard every day to keep our nation safe. There are many members of our armed forces who have sacrificed their physical and mental health to keep the country safe, and many Americans have lost fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters. Standing not only supports our lost heroes but the people they left behind.  

To many, the national anthem is more than a song — it unites us as proud Americans. While we all are very different, that is something we all share in common. We are proud Americans who enjoy freedom, opportunity and a diverse melting pot of ideas and people. Through music, we are able to reflect on how far our nation has come and where we will go as a nation together.

People should be required to stand for the national anthem. As divided as we are in today’s political climate, we should all respect the sacrifices others have made for the country. There are many other ways to protest peacefully, like formal speeches, letters of opposition, signed public statements, group petitions, marches, etc. I strongly believe it should be required to stand for the national anthem, not only for our country but for all those who no longer can.