Why we sing a song of solace
'One generation dies on the cold battlefields of strange foreign lands, while another generation perishes on the cold streets of America beneath the dark veil of a virulent double standard'
Major General Edward Almond, Commanding General of the 92nd Infantry Division, inspects his troops during a decoration ceremony, March 1945. Photo: Public Domain, Wikimedia
‘…don’t tell me we cannot take a knee during the National Anthem to call attention to the works of a resurgent vile American specter yearning to breathe free…’Regarding the flak from one segment of America that disparages NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick to draw attention to the inordinate racial injustice shown to Black Americans, here’s an eye-opening reality.
The blood of Black servicemen also stained the soil of many foreign battlefields. And on the high seas, their remains too were relegated to the ocean deep when their ships were sunk to the bottom during fierce combat in the Pacific and Atlantic during successive World Wars.
These Americans returned home in flag-draped coffins by the thousands; their headstones and grave markers are represented at Arlington National Cemetery and too many other cemeteries across America to name.
The ultimate sacrifice of the majority of these young Black Americans — many who hadn’t yet turned 25 years old — came during World Wars I, II, Korea, South Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, not to mention the Revolutionary and U.S. Civil War. Their deaths were particularly disconcerting because these Black Americans returned home despised by a bigoted, hateful nation ungrateful for their service, relegated to the bottom of American society.
Had they lived, these American heroes of the wars and conflicts since the Second World War would have been grandparents and great-grandparents to many of the very young Black Americans slain in cold blood that riveted our emotions over the last several years from the lens of social media.
The cruel irony squeezes our emotions time and again. One generation dies on the cold battlefields of strange foreign lands, while another generation perishes on the cold streets of America beneath the dark veil of a virulent double standard.
So, don’t tell me we cannot take a knee during the National Anthem to call attention to the works of a resurgent vile American specter yearning to breathe free, to turn back the clock to a period of racial tyranny. As long as Black Americans and all decent, loving Americans remain strong and filled with resolve, directed by an Almighty God, we will not taste defeat — but send a resounding rebuke to this darkness overshadowing the nation.
If we do not, America’s days are numbered and we will implode from within.