“Coddling young men and women old enough to serve our country has zero educational value.”
This all started last week when some students at Hampshire College took down an American flag on campus and burned it to protest the election of Trump. The school then decided that it would no longer fly the American flag at all.
The news apparently got around and some veterans decided they didn’t like what was happening and organized a sizable protest with a sea of American flags.
This is pretty huge. I’ve been covering campus politics here for four years and I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve seen veterans react to a college news story.
FOX News covered it:
Veterans protest at Massachusetts college that removed US flags
Around 1,000 veterans gathered at a western Massachusetts college Sunday to protest the school’s decision to stop flying all flags, including U.S. flags, after students allegedly burned a flag in protest of Donald Trump’s election victory.
Hampshire College in Amherst outraged many with its decision to remove all flags from campus. Protesters expressed their displeasure and hoped to reach out to students during their demonstration.
“They took down my flag, they have a right to that, I’m here to defend their right to do that but I want them to understand how bad that hurts me,” veteran Jerry Maguire told WWLP-TV.
The station reported that hundreds all over the New England region joined the protest, including Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. He stood with the veterans as well.
This video is great. It really gives you a sense of how big the turnout was:
Mass Live has some choice quotes from attendees:
Micah Welintokonis, a veteran from Coventry, Conn., said the school’s decision is disgraceful.
“Coddling young men and women old enough to serve our country has zero educational value,” said Welintokonis. “I am frustrated by the things going on in this country. Let us pray for our nation to move forward together.”
Sarno called on Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash to reverse course, saying the flag symbolizes the sacrifices of veterans and their families.
The U.S., said Sarno, is “the beacon of hope. Freedom and democracy. And that is because of each and every one of our veterans, and those veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”
It’s amazing to see college students on the other side of a protest. I think I like it.
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