Wednesday was the 75 anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor that took the lives of 2,403 Americans and injured 1,178 more. U.S. Pacific Command Commander Adm. Harry Harris was speaking at a memorial service where he called out Colin Kaepernick for his refusal to stand during the national anthem before games.
During his speech at the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration, Harris subtly took a shot at the 49ers quarterback.
“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 told the crowd in Hawaii.
His speech received a lengthy standing ovation.
Harris, who had a father and four uncles serve in World War II, continued.
“Hearing the words, ‘The land of the free and home of the brave’ means something special for every American, every day,” he said. “But today, on Dec. 7, it takes on extraordinary significance.”
Harris graduated the U.S. Naval Academy in 1978, then served tours in the Persian Gulf, Japan and Hawaii. The four-star admiral has logged over 4,000 hours of flight time — including more than 400 combat sorties. U.S. Pacific Command Commander Adm. Harry Harris has received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, and the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award.
Kaepernick has refused to stand, instead he chose to sit and kneel during the Star Spangled Banner, to bring awareness to racial injustices and police brutality.
Here is the entire National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration.