After a group of students at Hampshire College successfully got the American flag removed from campus, roughly 1,000 military veterans gathered in Amherst, MA, on Sunday to teach them a lesson with a patriotic protest.
They brought plenty of flags to campus, too.
The veterans said they want the students to know the freedom they enjoy, the same freedom that allows them to disrespect the flag, isn’t free.
“They took down my flag, they have a right to that, I’m here to defend their right to do that but I want them to understand how bad that hurts me,” veteran Jerry Maguire told WWLP-TV.
David Soucy, a wounded Iraq War veteran, told the news station “there’s no way I’ll let anyone take down the flag, no way.”
“It means a lot to me and my brothers,” he added.
There was apparently some sort of an incident during the pro-America protest when a man sat in the middle of the veteran protesters and made obscene gestures as they tried to take a photo. It was unclear if the man was a student. Otherwise, the protest was entirely peaceful.
People reportedly came from all over New England to participate in the protest.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno stood in solidarity with the veterans, telling WWLP-TV, “For the students here and the president and board of trustees have risen from what the veterans sacrificed, this flag [sic] and not to fly the flag on this campus if you were in some other countries around the world it would be handled very, very differently."
Only time will tell if Hampshire College will reconsider its decision to remove the American flag from campus.