WATERVILLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — In the midst of the controversial debate on standing for the national anthem, a patriotic photo of three roofers is going viral.
At a football game in Waterville on Saturday, October 14, spectators and players were not the only people standing for the national anthem.
A few roofers took time to stand for the 'Star Spangled Banner' before Old Town and Waterville players took to the field.
”That’s the way I was brought up: to stand for the national anthem and respect it," said Dwayne Harrison, one of the men in the photo. ”We’re a small community so it’s something we’re used to doing. It’s nothing out of the ordinary for us to stand for the national anthem.”
Michelle Cossar captured the picture which is being shared across the nation. Cossar said she was in the stands when she heard
'Hey, look! They aren't kneeling.'
When she turned she saw the three men taking a break from roofing a house to respect the flag. The image has been shared across the country.
”A lot of positives, some negatives, but there’s always negatives with the positives," Harrison said of the comments on Facebook where the photo was posted. "Haters are going to be haters.”
It comes as National Football League owners meet in New York to discuss player protests of kneeling during the national anthem.
”Them guys get paid a lot of money to do what they do. That has nothing to do with me," said Harrison, adding that the protests had nothing to do with his decision to stop and stand. ”That’s the way I was brought up: to stand for the national anthem and respect it.”
”I watch football. I understand why it’s taking off. It’s just something people should do," said James Scraggs, who was also in the photo.
”Every time I hear the national anthem, I want to put my hand over my heart. It’s what I’ve done since I was a kid. We would do it all again and it wouldn’t matter if someone was taking a picture or not," said Wilton Turcotte, whose uncle was in the Air Force. Turcotte was not pictured in the photo, but was working at the site.
Waterville Purple Panthers won the game. Cossar was watching at the game watching her nephew play and says the spectators were proud of the roofers.