In a time when the NFL’s National Anthem protests are making the headlines, this WWII veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard showed her love for the country by standing up for the National Anthem, on one leg.
Wearing a Sabres jersey, 94-year-old World War II veteran Marian Morreale made an impressive opening during the first game of the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. When the national anthem was being played, Morreale stood on one leg, holding onto her walker, in front of thousands of spectators. The nonagenarian looked up at the flag with pride, singing along to the anthem. She was smiling broadly as she hung onto her walker till the end.
After the solemn ceremony, which lasted two minutes, the home crowd gave Morreale a standing ovation, which she deserved.
Morreale has learnt how to stand for the last three months, just for this moment. According to the Buffalo News, she had her left leg amputated above the knee in July 2016 due to a circulation issue.
“I was afraid I was going to cry. And I couldn’t blow my nose because I couldn’t let go of the walker. So, I was scared to death,” Morreale told WKBW.
Morreale, who served in the Coast Guard at 20 years old during World War II, has the anthem mounted on her living room wall. That night, the Coast Guard veteran was simply showing her patriotism for America, and it was not related to the NFL’s National Anthem protests.
Morreale told Lou Michel of The Buffalo News she bears no ill feeling to the athletes who took knees during the anthem. “I think for these young athletes and the salaries they make, they should stand for the national anthem,” she said.
Morreale’s family took her home shortly after the anthem. “She doesn’t have enough energy to stay,” said her daughter, Joan Brechtel. “She is 94.”