If you are unfortunate enough to be walking across campus at 5:30 in the evening on any given day, you may not arrive at your destination on time because you are being rebuked and made to stand at attention as the national anthem plays over speakers in recognition of the lowering of the flag. It is baffling how concerned most people are on this campus with what everyone else is doing. I have been scolded at least three times for not stopping and saluting the flag and am often met with the admonition that I should show respect because people have died for that flag.
Until now I have bit my tongue and kept myself from pointing out that the same people who died for the flag have also died for my right to continue walking during this ceremony. If you want to stop and salute the flag that is perfectly fine, I applaud you, but if you see someone like me who has somewhere to be or just doesn’t feel like stopping, mind your own business and let me be. We are lucky to live in a country where such respect for ceremony and tradition is not mandatory. The greatest way you can show respect and gratitude to your country is by finding a way to serve it and make it better. If you think that means stopping during the National Anthem then fine, but there are those of us that, quite frankly, don’t care. So please leave us alone.
La Canada Flintridge, Calif.