94-Year-Old Vet Silences Anthem Protesters When Wheelchair Rolls Up for Nat’l Anthem

In a time when so many National Football League millionaires have garnered attention for sitting or kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” 94-year-old Marian Morreale made news for standing up for it during an NHL game.

In fact, the World War II veteran of the United States Coast Guard had every reason not to stand when the national anthem was played at the Buffalo Sabres home opener. According to the Buffalo News, the nonagenarian had a leg amputated last year and had to be rolled out onto the ice in a wheelchair.

Instead, she had a point to make for all of the athletes who want to use the anthem for partisan political gain.

“I think for these young athletes and the salaries they make, they should stand for the national anthem,” Morreale said. “But I don’t think our president should use that word, SOB.”

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While she may not have been too happy with the president’s language, she was even more determined to make her point to the athletes who feel the need to turn the anthem into a platform for protest. In fact, she spent no less than three months practicing to be able to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” when it was played Thursday night at KeyBank Center.

“I won’t be able to put my arm across my heart. I’m on one leg, and I have to hang on to my walker,” Morriale said.

And hang onto her walker she did — to a standing ovation from the home crowd.

While Morriale said she didn’t blame the NFL players for being mad at the president’s remarks, she said the anthem is sacred territory.

“I’d just want to hold their hand and say, ‘Be a man and stand, and forgive the president,'” Morriale said.

For their part, the Sabres have a long tradition of honoring the military when the national anthem is played.

“When we have our national anthem, we always have a member of the armed forces with our flag bearers right on the ice. It has been a tradition for us for years,” Chris Bandura, vice president of media relations for the team, told the Buffalo News. “The great thing about this program is we have had veterans of all ages participate.”

Morriale’s act is proof that you don’t need to like President Trump or what he said to realize what the anthem represents to veterans who have sacrificed under the American flag — and might have seen friends die doing it. There are plenty of things that divide us ideologically, but the anthem isn’t a way to express our displeasure.

Next time a pro football player thinks it is, he should remember it meant enough to one nonagenarian veteran that she practiced for three months just to stand on one leg for it.

Please like and share on Facebook and Twitter if you think this veteran’s bravery silenced all the millionaire anthem protesters.