WMMOA 2020/2021 Year
WHY WE SALUTE
As our annual banquet draws near, some newer members or non-military guests may wonder why we members of WMMOA salute the flag, either during the Pledge of Allegiance or the posting of the Colors.
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, and as amended in 2009, clarified the law to allow veterans (and active-duty service members not in uniform) to render the hand salute during hoisting, lowering, or passing of the flag, including during the playing or singing of the National Anthem. This has been generally recognized as applying to any occasion, whether a parade, sporting event, or funeral, where honors are rendered to the national standard.
Since this law was enacted, many veterans commented that they believed they had earned the right, as part of their service to the country, to salute the flag – and that right had never been rescinded. Others pointed out the value for non-veterans at both indoor and outdoor events, who might see a veteran in civilian clothes saluting the flag to recognize the veterans among them.
While there are different standards among our services regarding saluting (covered or uncovered, indoors or out) our focus is on the provision of the law as it applies to veterans, not as it may apply to active-duty members not in uniform. RADM John Bepko, USN (retired) observed on a message board, that the issue of “covered or not covered” is misunderstood. “I have saluted,” the Admiral said, “and will always salute my flag – in uniform or out – covered or not. I, and all my fellow veterans, have earned that right.”
The bottom line? Just as there was never a prohibition against a veteran rendering a hand salute, neither does the change prohibit a veteran from choosing to place his/her hand over the heart. We have all earned the right to choose how we render honors to our National Standard.
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2019/21 WMMOA Season