Arm In Arm

by | Oct 11, 2017

By Bob Houghtaling

Many have provided enormous sacrifices to make America a special place. Their efforts have helped ensure that we are indeed ‘the land of the free’.

Today we are faced with challenges that are forcing us to confront deep-seated issues like race, power and opportunity. This poem, Taking a Knee, is not intended to be anti-American. In fact, it is intended to be a prayer for our coming together. God Bless America and all of her people. Also, a special thanks to those who have served in our military. Without them we would be a far different country.

Taking A Knee

All across this nation
It is time to take a stand
Kneel for your brothers and sisters
Who share this sacred land
Kneel for their freedom
Kneel for their choice
Let’s seek to heal deep wounds
By actions and our voice

Every single city block
Each home and person’s heart
Take a knee to show all souls
That we’re never far apart
Kneel for their freedom
Kneel for their choice
Let’s seek to heal deep wounds
By actions and our voice

The heroes of the ages
Who fought to make us free
Set the tone for all time
With this land for you and me
Kneel for their freedom
Kneel for their choice
Let’s seek to heal deep wounds
By actions and our voice

All in this together
We can challenge any harm
The country is a better place
When friends walk arm in arm
Kneel for their freedom
Kneel for their choice
Let’s seek to heal deep wounds
By actions and our voice

America is special for its ability to change and embrace new ideas. We are presently challenged with questions about what direction this nation needs to go. These questions are healthy and avoiding them robs us of solutions. Let’s face our weaknesses. Let’s acknowledge our need to reflect. When we do so new chapters can be written. Ones, which will make future generations proud.

Respecting our flag means more than standing for the National Anthem. It is also about respecting Veteran’s, creating opportunities for all, and showing the world that the voice of the people matters. Those who took a knee or locked arms care about the country. Those who stood with hands over their hearts do as well. Let’s recognize what we all want – to be a part of our country’s dream.

Monday morning quarterbacks abound. Hindsight can make for genius. The N.F.L. protests and the nation’s response indicate that there is a need for dialogue as well as action. Trivializing the situation ignores some legitimate issues. Whatever your thoughts and feelings are on this matter Taking A Knee symbolically refers to remembering the impetus behind the act. While resorting to ‘sides’, it’s often forgotten that we are in this together. America is already great. Let’s help make it even greater.

Bob Houghtaling is the East Greenwich substance abuse counselor. He is also head of the Academy Foundation and is on the board of East Greenwich News.

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Bryan Lindley
Bryan Lindley
October 12, 2017 7:25 am

As veteran that served, and comeing from a family of veterans, I we cannot agree more!
We feel we served for the rights of all and it includes those the protest peacefully.
Taking a knee is a form of that peaceful protest to bring attention to a real problem this country faces with regards to race.
We applaud the NFL players for making us think and reflect upon these types of issue.
Thank you,
Bryan Lindley, USAF Vet

victor volpe
victor volpe
October 12, 2017 1:37 pm
Reply to  Bryan Lindley

I agree with Mr. Houghtaling. I do not see kneeling as disrespectful to the military or the flag. All Americans have the right to peacefully protest. protesting helped bring an end to the Vietnam war.
Victor Volpe United States Air Force Vietnam era veteran four and a half years.


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