Right Hooks

The Wall of Heroes Contrast

A store owner honors America's war heroes while athletes disrespect the flag.

Thomas Gallatin · Nov. 2, 2016

“Cancelled,” read a sticker slapped onto a sign in a Colorado Springs sporting goods store advertising an autograph signing session with Denver Broncos player Brandon Marshall. Marshall was one of several NFL players to kneel during the national anthem, and when store owner Stephen Martin saw that he decided to cancel the autograph signing session. Martin said he received several phone calls and threats regarding his decision, which caused him to consider an appropriate response.

Martin, whose father-in-law survived the Bataan Death March and a three-and-a-half-year stint as a POW in a Japanese prison camp, thought of just the thing: He created a wall in his store dedicated to honoring those heroes who’d sacrificed for the flag. He sent out a Facebook post on his store’s site asking for “photos of your loved ones that are veterans, in active service, who have been injured in the line of duty or who have paid the ultimate price. I will post these photos on my store front windows under the banner, ‘These people have sacrificed for the ideas represented by our flag. We honor them.’”

So far, Martin has received almost 500 photos from all across the nation, to which he responded, “Our voice, the voice of the active, the injured and the fallen is being heard. Thank You America.” We in our humble shop commend Martin for standing on his patriotic convictions, despite the risk to his business. Instead, it’s the NFL seeing its ratings plummet as more fans are turned off by entitled, wealthy athletes protesting the flag which represents a nation committed to the ideals of freedom and justice for all.

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