The Pearly Harbor dead "never took a knee," Navy Admiral Harry Harris said during a speech marking the 75th anniversary of the surprise attack, an obvious swipe at San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others who refuse to stand for the national anthem.
“You can bet that the men and women we honor today – and those who died that fateful morning 75 years ago – never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our national anthem being played,” said Harris, according to the New York Post.
“Hearing the words, ‘The land of the free and home of the brave’ means something special for every American, every day,” he added. “But today, on Dec. 7, it takes on extraordinary significance.”
The reference to Kaepernick’s ongoing national anthem protest sparked “a lengthy standing ovation from the crowd, with people whistling and hooting,” noted NBC Sports Pro Football Talk.
Kaepernick first sat for the national anthem before an NFL preseason game back in August, and then he switched his protest to “kneeling” so he wouldn’t offend the military.
He said his protest was a statement against “police brutality and the treatment of minorities,” said the Daily Mail.
Harris took over the Pacific Command in May 2015, after leading the U.S. Pacific Fleet for more than two years.
Pacific Command spokesman Robert Shuford said Harris’ remarks “speak for themselves.”
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