Over the past few weeks, our nation has endured some of the most prolific and astounding emotional moments since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. With that emotion comes a sense of patriotic pride, but moreover a sense of patriotic responsibility. We love our country, we love our freedoms, and we respect the rights of others.
In Louisiana, this sentiment runs higher than it does in most places. With the largest per-capita contingent of veterans in the nation, Louisiana has much to be proud of, much to stand for and much to share.
At Louisiana State University, we are the future of both entities. Yesterday on LSU’s campus a band of patriots expressed our love for everything that America and Louisiana stand for.
Yesterday, at a hair before noon I raised my hand in the middle of one of the most patriotic assemblies I had ever seen, and the crowd grew silent. I said to a young woman who chose the venue as a place to express her opinion in favor of those that would burn our flag, that she had already had her chance to speak and that now it was my turn. My statement made it on to YouTube, and from there the folks here at the Hayride saw fit to give it publication. It appears now that it has gone viral, which from my perspective is both good and bad and in any event requires clarification.
I was disgusted and outraged with her actions. I shared with her that I had fought for my country while serving eight years in the Marine Corps. I told her my grandmother always told me, “Although I respect your rights, I also respect your right to be wrong.” I asked that young woman to, “in turn respect my right to tell you to shut up;” however in more colorful language.
My parents raised me that if there is something you believe in, stand up for it, and don’t back down; fight for what you believe is right. But my mother also taught me never to disrespect a lady, never to use vulgarity that way, and to never lose your temper in the face of adversity.
That colorful language is what I regret. I apologize to that young lady for the language I used and directed toward her. That is not the way I was raised, and that is not the way a gentleman should act. This is not what we as Louisianans stand for, and that is not what we as Americans represent. We are a nation of patriots. A nation of ladies and gentlemen. I am a southern gentleman, and am proud to live my life according to the traditions that status demands.
I lost my temper yesterday, but the sentiment behind my statement that shortly followed was heartfelt and sincere. I feel it was something that many Americans feel on a daily basis, but never actually say, or do.
I have prayed hard on my actions yesterday, and between God and I, this is my resolution; I have stood up for my beliefs, and do not regret what I said, only the choice of one word. With that, I would encourage more Americans to stand up, demand that we as a nation return to our founding principles, our patriotic beliefs, and moreover the proper heading on our moral compass; the heading that the world used to revere.
Louisiana is a strong, majestic and beautiful state that has weathered the storm more times than could be imagined. Let us be unified, stand up with one another, and express to our fellow statesmen that we will NOT tolerate the desecration of our flag that represents all we hold dear, let us not be afraid anymore to say God Bless America! Let us no longer be the silent majority, rather a nation that has had enough of the incessant rambling, and is finally putting our foot down.
Together as a state, and as a nation, we can and will get America back on the right track! Don’t give up! This is our America, let’s not let it fade into night. This is our Louisiana, let us never forget the fight.