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Letter to the editor

March 4, 2003

In reference to an Associated Press article published in the Lariat this week, I just want to say that if anyone should feel the need to turn their back to the American flag in protest to our nation's political decisions, maybe they need to study the history of our flag before they insult millions of Americans whose blood, sweat and tears have been shed to ensure our way of life.

I am a chemistry graduate student and a captain on active duty in the United States Army. I must say that I would be personally insulted and outraged if I were to witness anyone turning his or her back on our flag and showing anything but the utmost respect at the playing of our national anthem.

Although I am not sure I agree it is necessary to play the national anthem at sporting events (even when I was involved in them as an undergraduate student), I think it is far from acceptable that anyone should chose this form of protest. If I were ever to do such a thing, even as a small child, I would have immediately been corrected, and not just because my father was drafted in 1965 or my friends and family have a heritage that includes so many dignified veterans of our military.

That flag, the one the young woman refuses to acknowledge, stands for so many unrecognized men and woman who have fought, and some who have died, to ensure we can continue to live in such a great nation. That flag, the one so many of my friends are wearing on their shoulder in Afghanistan and Kuwait right now, means something to most people. It does not stand for political decisions. It stands for people -- those who make up the nation we live in today and those who have struggled along the way to make it such a great place.

Kimberly Bennett

Master's Candidate