This 97-year-old World War II veteran took a knee following Donald Trump's comments about NFL players and his call for a boycott of the league.
In his words: "...those kids have every right to protest."
Needless to say, the photo went viral. In an interview, John Middlemas told the Springfield (MO) News-Leader:
"I wanted to communicate what I always told to my grand-kids and everybody else," Middlemas said. "When they'd go to bed at night, we'd tell the kids we wanted to be like Jesus."
By that, Middlemas wants to communicate a message of peace and acceptance. His desire to be inclusive is rooted in his time serving alongside black members of the military while deployed on a submarine.
"I'm trying to say that you have to love everybody," he said, adding he hopes "the whole world" will get his message. "We don't kill people. We want to make people live."
Admittedly, Middlemas is no fan of Trump. He called the President "garbage-mouthed."
Regardless of whether you agree with his opinion or not, I'm happy to let this man have his say. He's earned that right more than most; after all, he fought for it. I hope Americans and our leaders in DC will finally start to seek out common ground.