CARMEL, N.Y. – Putnam County MaryEllen Odell is calling for residents to Stand Up For America. She has ordered the immediate installation of the county’s Row of Honor along Lake Gleneida in Carmel, N.Y. On Sunday, Oct. 1, Odell is asking for the public to join her on the shores of Lake Gleneida at 10 a.m. where she will have the National Anthem played and together they can stand in unity for America.

On Sunday, Sept. 24, several football teams permitted players to kneel during the National Anthem in protest. Then all but one player of the Pittsburgh Steelers remained in the locker room during the National Anthem. Only Alejandro Villanueva who is the team’s offensive tackle, stood outside of the tunnel entrance and held his hand over his heart. Villanueva is a West Point graduate and a former Army Ranger who served three tours of Duty in Afghanistan and is the recipient of Bronze Star medal for Valor and for Overseas Services.

“This isn’t about race, this is about respect,” said Odell. “Respect for our Veterans. This is about honoring and standing in unity with all those who have sacrificed themselves to protect the safety of others.”

“Standing during the National Anthem is not about anything political,” said Odell.  “It is about paying respect to all the men and women who have and continue to risk their lives for our freedoms. Freedom isn’t free and the very least one could do is stand for the National Anthem every time it is played.”

Karl Rohde, Director of Putnam County’s Veteran Service Agency agrees with Odell’s stance on the National Anthem.

“A few years ago, the US Supreme Court made a mistake by ruling that burning the American Flag was free speech.  As a Veteran I vehemently disagreed,” said Rohde.  “The learned jurists got that wrong.  The disrespect that some NFL players are displaying is as vile as the burning of the American Flag.  Now they are claiming that they do not mean to disrespect Veterans and Service Members.  If you disrespect our National Anthem you have disrespected everyone who ever wore a uniform of the US military.”