SEATTLE, Washington- In response to the rumors of a Seattle Seahawks team sit-down for the Star Spangled Banner on 09/11, A Texas cop, Dan Russell, who describes himself as a Seahawks Fan, wrote this open letter to Russell Wilson and posted it on his Facebook page.
My name is Dan Russell. I am a lifelong Seattle Seahawks fan, a native Washingtonian, and I have the humble privilege of serving as a Police Officer in my community.
I am the Officer in these photos – two of which went viral – taken in Dallas on 07/07 at the scene where 14 police officers were shot in an ambush; five of whom perished from their injuries.
I decided to dedicate myself to a life of Service on a Tuesday morning sitting in my parents living room on 09/11/2001, as I watched live footage of a plane crash into the World Trade Center. I woke up my brother, a serving United States Marine at the time, to give him the news – America was under attack.
On that sunny and bright Tuesday, 2,996 Americans lost their lives. 343 of those lost were firefighters, and 71 were law enforcement officers. In response to the worst terrorist attack in our Nation’s history, millions answered the call to Service – to Serve their Nation in the military, to Serve their communities as Police Officers, firefighters, dispatchers, paramedics, or as the family of one of these intrepid selfless individuals.
Every day, more choose to answer the call to Serve – inspired by those events of fifteen years ago and the selfless sacrifice of so many that came before them.
I chose to Serve on 09/11/2001. After Ferguson in 2014 I found myself questioning my choice of career and vocation. A visit to Ground Zero reminded me that I was Serving something bigger than myself – something beautiful and everlasting.
I humbly ask – I beg – that you do not sit down for The Star Spangled Banner on this coming Sunday, the 15th anniversary of 09/11/2001.
To do so would be a slap in the face to millions of fans, millions of public Servants, millions of Americans, to 09/11 first responders, to the survivors, and to the families of all that were involved and impacted by that terrible day, most of all –
To those 2,996 who fell in an act of hatred towards our country and all we stand for.
You have so many avenues of making a stand, of letting your voice be one of compassion, reconciliation, and building rather than tearing down. You have shown that you are an inspiring leader, man of community, faith, family, and charity. You have a voice that will be heard.
Please, use your voice in one of those other avenues – do not allow yourself to become one that succumbs to the sensationalism and misguided choices that are currently causing so much division in our country.
Stand for The Star Spangled Banner.
We who Serve will stand with you.