At first, it was just a few isolated incidents of players kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Then, it was entire teams refusing to come out of the locker rooms and show respect to the American flag. And the end result: football fans across the nation became incredibly frustrated with the league as a whole, and let it be known as the television ratings suffered.
However, lost in the shuffle of it all is the fact that not all teams joined in on the blatant disrespect. In fact, one organization in particular created a rather moving tribute to American soldiers during the season, and it appears it has finally gone viral and getting the 2+ million views it deserves.
That’s right, folks. And that organization? The Minnesota Vikings.
In a Facebook video posted by Marine Corp Recruiting Station Twin Cities in October, two United States Marines in uniform were guarding the Vikings football stadium in a ritual similar to that which can be seen at the site of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, except it wasn’t the crowd they were keeping watch over.
“Marines stand guard during the Minnesota Vikings game over an empty seat symbolizing those service members who were prisoners of war or missing in action,” explained the post.
The empty seat is said to be a permanent placeholder in honor of service members lost during their time at war.“For every Vikings game, one unfilled seat permanently covered in black and located in section V8 is guarded by current military members,” explained Vikings.com.“Decorated with the POW/MIA logo and set in front of the seals of the five branches of the United States Military, the seat honors military personnel missing and unaccounted-for from all conflicts, including the 1,618 from the Vietnam War.”“A plaque accompanying the seat states ‘With reverence we hold this seat of valor for those brave men and women, living and dead, who sacrificed in the limelight of honor and glory that we may have freedom. They will not be forgotten,’” the team explained.
Needless to say, it’s been an incredibly rough season for the NFL, but what a breath of fresh air!
And even though the Vikings lost to the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday, a representative from Marine Corps recruiting told Conservative Tribune on Monday that the tradition of standing post for the reserved seat will be continued during the Super Bowl, but another branch will likely have the honor as different military units rotate the stadium duty.