At a time when protests during the National Anthem dominate the news, one World War II veteran wanted to make a statement.
And she has a unique story to tell.
Marian Morreale is a 94-year-old Coast Guard veteran of World War II. Last year, a circulation issue caused her left leg to be amputated. When she saw professional athletes kneeling in protest for the National Anthem, she knew she had to do something.
She still cries when the anthem is played, and she did not like the fact that some would kneel to defy what the country stands for. So Morreale spent three months learning how to stand again, even short one leg. And when her home team, The Buffalo Sabres of the NHL, took the ice for their first home game of the season, she was there with them, standing for the National Anthem. The video is below.
“I think for these young athletes and the salaries they make, they should stand for the national anthem,” she said. “But I don’t think our president should use that word, SOB.”
Wearing a Sabres jersey, she entered the ice at KeyBank Center in a wheelchair, then stood and leaned against her walker as she looked up at the flag, smiling broadly as she sang along during the anthem.
“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,” said Morreale, who does not have a prosthetic limb.
The Coast Guard veteran says she harbors no hard feelings toward the professional football players who are taking a knee when the national anthem is sung, but says the anthem is too sacred to become a forum for political statements.
Her son says he remains in awe of his mother’s courage as a young woman and now in old age.
“She actually had the courage to leave her home and serve in the military, and now she is taking another courageous step and standing for the national anthem,” Vincent Morreale said. “Can you imagine having so much love for this country?”
Here is a short clip of Morreale standing for the anthem.
Here is a longer clip, but the audio is bad and the anthem is difficult to hear.