You may have seen this video circulating of U.S. Navy Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr. lighting Colin Kaepernick on fire with this sick burn:
US admiral: Those honored at Pearl Harbor 75th anniversary "never took a knee" when they heard national anthem https://t.co/KafhXQdvfdpic.twitter.com/XzYZlB67BF— AP West Region (@APWestRegion) December 7, 2016
Speaking Wednesday at the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, the admiral made pointed remarks at the San Francisco 49ers quarterback whose claim to fame is his decision to kneel through the national anthem in a show of solidarity with Black Lives Matter.
“You can bet that the men and women we honor today, and those who died that fateful morning 75 years ago, never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our national anthem being played,” Harris said. That line brought the crowd roaring to its feet.
And he would know a thing or two about sacrifice. Admiral Harris’ father and four brothers all served in World War II. In fact, his dad was on the Lexington aircraft carrier just before the Pearl Harbor attack. His family’s legacy of service inspired the native Tennessean to follow in their footsteps, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978 before his career of service that spans decades.
Harris, who was born in Japan to a Japanese mother, is the first Asian-American to achieve the rank of admiral. And in September 2014, Admiral Harry Harris was appointed the head of the U.S Pacific Command by President Obama.
A decorated officer, Harris has logged 4,400 flight hours — including more than 400 combat hours — in maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft.
His personal decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal (2x), Defense Superior Service Medal (3x), Legion of Merit (3x), the Bronze Star (2x), the Air Medal (1 strike/flight), and the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award. He is a recipient of the Navy League’s Stephen Decatur Award, the CIA’s Agency Seal Medal, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and APAICS (Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies) Lifetime Achievement Award.
He is also the Navy’s current “Gray Owl,” an active-duty naval flight officer who has held this designation for the longest period.
Admiral Harris has served in every geographic combatant command region and fought in Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Earnest Will, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Odyssey Dawn.
Further, as the head of U.S. Pacific Command, he is on the front lines of confronting the nation’s top geopolitical rivals of China and Russia. And he is clear-eyed about his mission. As The New York Times reported in May, “He has called China ‘provocative and expansionist,’ accusing it of ‘creating a Great Wall of sand’ and ‘clearly militarizing’ the disputed waters of the Western Pacific.”
“You’d have to believe in a flat earth to think otherwise,” he once told Congress, per the Times.
In short, Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr. knows character; he knows how to take a look at somebody and size them up. And that is what makes his comments knocking Colin Kaepernick’s “stand” just that much more epic.
If you want to stand for something, learn from Admiral Harris’ service record. This is a “minority” individual who stands for his country, and isn’t afraid to defend the freedoms that every American enjoys — in both word and deed.
The most interesting stories aren’t told in the headlines. They’re in the FOOTNOTES!
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