Of Patriot Day demeanor

Candidate: A time to pay respect to flag and remember American values

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State Sen. Frank LaRose, left, and Logan County Republican Party Chairwoman Ranae Lentz greet members of the local law enforcement and emergency services community at a local Patriot Day observance. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | REUBEN MEES)

There’s a fine line between freedom of speech and plain disrespect Ohio Secretary of State candidate Frank LaRose said at a local Patriot Day observance.

“People should be able to march and demonstrate and petition their elected leaders. That’s what freedom of speech is about,” the candidate, veteran and state senator told members of the Logan County Republican Party and a group of law enforcement and emergency responders who gathered Monday at Harold Kerr American Legion Post 173.

“But I don’t think you do that by kneeling during the National Anthem. I believe you stand up for the American flag and pay your respects. Then, when the time is right, you address your grievances.”

Representing northeast Ohio’s Summit, Stark and Wayne counties, Sen. LaRose, 38, said he was disappointed to see a group of 12 Cleveland Browns players kneel during the National Anthem during the final preseason game two weeks ago.

After a meeting with Browns legend Jim Brown — an athlete who challenged blatant racism during his own time in the sport — the Ohio team took a different approach prior to Sunday’s opening game in Cleveland — linking arms with police, firefighters and members of the military in a pregame Patriot Day ceremony.

The symbolic act changed the conversation in a positive way, LaRose said.

Read complete story in Tuesday's Examiner
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