Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Please stand and remove your hat

Please stand and remove your hat. It doesn't really seem to be a very exhausting request. However, no matter where you are when you hear the request, there are always a few assholes, for whatever reason can't seem to get it right.
Hmmm, you say. "Assholes" may be a tad harsh of a personal description for "these" people. I disagree with you. I feel that the term "asshole" is a perfect fit. If you don't remove your hat for the playing of the National Anthem, well, then you're an asshole. Period. There is never a good reason not remove your hat. Never.
"My hair is messed up." "I don't have any hair." Who cares?!
There are plenty of veterans lying in the cold ground, that don't have the luxury of putting a hat on and died for your right to be an asshole.
"I just forgot." Well, then you're an asshole this time. I doubt the family members of the servicemen that lost their lives ever forget.
"I just never really thought about it." Therefore, you are an asshole all of the previous times you didn't remove your hat. Our fallen war veterans had no problem thinking bout your freedom.
"I don't agree with our government." Well, that really makes you an asshole. Get out. Go somewhere else and live. I don't agree with everything our government does. You don't have to follow like blind sheep being led to the slaughter. No one is pointing a gun at you and making you drink the kool – aid. It's not about current administration or what they believe in. It is about the sacrifice our citizens have endured to make America the place it is.
I was at a St. Louis Cardinal game recently, watching my beloved Redbirds. During the pregame ceremonies the Cardinal organization honored Cpl. Nicely, USMC. Cpl Nicely is a Marine from my home county. He is actually on of my wife's former students. Cpl. Nicely lost all four limbs to an IED in Afghanistan. His family wheeled him out onto the field, he was presented a jersey with his name on it and the Marine's Hymn was played. He also received a several minute standing ovation from the crowd. An ovation he truly deserved. The sacrifice, the pain, the desire and the will to live that has been displayed by Cpl. Nicely is unimaginable and immeasurable.
After the pregame ceremony, the PA announcer asked everyone to rise for the playing of the National Anthem. The image of the legless and armless Cpl. Nicely in his wheelchair still fresh in the crowd's minds, the Star Spangled Banner began to play. Something caught my eye several rows in front of me. It was a few people standing with their hats on. I don't care and it doesn't matter if you are old or young, if you are a man or a woman, take your hat off. If you are a kid and don't know any better, then your parents are assholes for not teaching you the right thing. I don't want to hear, "I thought women didn't have to." Is their freedom any different?
You would think with such a striking image of Cpl. Nicely, even the most die hard asshole would take their hat off. I not only wanted to remove their hat, I wanted to remove their head as well. I didn't. Public decapitation is frowned on in Missouri.
Our country has no problem being patriotic at times of tragedy and need. Good. But, we also need to remember how lucky we are everyday, even without some type of tragedy being pushed in our faces. Do not be a part time patriot. Remember everyday the sacrifices that have been made so you may enjoy the lifestyle that you have. Do it because it is the right thing to do.
I am sure Cpl. Nicely would have gladly stood and removed his hat. That is if he had not given his arms and legs for your freedom.


  1. Nicely said Cpl McHawes. You should have taken his head off. No jury would of convicted you unless it was in the city of St. Louis.

  2. Amen bro! It irritates the daylights out of me to see people not take their hats off. And also when they don't stop walking during the National Anthem. Is it really that hard to stand still for a couple minutes to show some respect?