Ray West (letter Oct. 18) is pretty free with his assumptions about why Americans do or do not stand for our national anthem.
Standing to sing our national anthem or honor our nation’s flag have become traditions. But where do traditions begin? How about in the hearts of people grateful for the freedoms they enjoy to live here?
The fact that we live on a defensible land mass surrounded by two oceans that have protected us from foreign invaders for more than 200 years is a major blessing itself. The English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” That is how I feel about the country my Italian grandparents adopted a century ago.
So I don’t stand to salute the flag because I learned that in kindergarten, because I’m performing or because I don’t want to stand out in a crowd by being different.
I stand because I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to live in a country where I’m free to be all that God created me to be. There is no reason I would not stand to honor my country and its flag – even alone in my living room.
Celeste M. Wheeler, Coarsegold