American Legion protests NFL for kneeling controversy

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PEARL RIVER -

American Legion posts and restaurants across the Hudson Valley protested the NFL this weekend.

"It's the biggest sign of disrespect," American Legion Post 329 Commander Thomas Lynch says of some NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality.

A crowd gathered at the Pearl River post to stand for the national anthem as well as their beliefs.

"If our kids are taught not to respect our flag and our country, they'll never defend it," says Lynch, who's also a Coast Guard veteran.

Instead of watching Sunday football, the post retired an American flag and raised a new one at the spot with a stone bearing the inscription, "We stand for our flag and for those who cannot." It is dedicated to all past and present members of Post 329. At the stone's base is a jar of soil from Japan and another with sand from Normandy, France to send a message.

"This is not a symbol to protest," says Orangetown Town Supervisor-elect Chris Day. "It's the blanket that keeps you warm as you go into the ground as a soldier who has fought for his country."

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