From the hollowed ground of Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon, a local veteran’s emotional video is an invitation for discussion.
After learning about flag burning protests, Eric Post of Clackamas initially thought about confronting protesters, but instead, he told KATU News that after some thought, he decided to go to the cemetery and reflect.
“I knew that if actually I was going to create change, I wasn’t going to fight hate with hate,” Post said. “It was going to be collecting my thoughts and sharing a message and speaking for people who couldn’t speak themselves and those are the people buried here.”
In his video, he talks directly to the protesters and shows compassion for the cause, but not the method.
“If you want to burn the flag, it’s your right … I get that,” he says. “I’m standing by the gravesites of Medal of Honor winners … if you feel like it’s your right to burn the flag … okay … maybe you can meet me up here sometime and we can take a tour, and you can learn a little bit about sacrifice, and pride and honor.”
He continues even as he admits he’s at a loss for words.
“I don’t get emotional, he says choking back tears, but coming up here after seeing the footage of what’s happening, it’s sickening. I’m disappointed, and most importantly, I’m ashamed for the people who are buried here.
He says he doesn’t speak for everyone, but he does speak for those buried at the cemetery and their families and says that he believes flag-burning events are disgusting. He offers an olive branch and asks people to come meet him at the cemetery so they can talk about it.
He reminds the more than 1.9 million viewers of his video that the flag is not what you’re protesting … rather its what gives a person the right to protest.
Post’s Facebook feed is alive with support, not only for the initial video, but also for his continued journey to bring awareness to the issue.
According to KATU News, they have reached out to the organizers of the flag-burning event and are waiting for a response.
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