Now this is amazing and a perfect role model.
As the Buffalo Sabres opened their NHL season Thursday night at KeyBank Center against the Montreal Canadiens, 19,070 fans were in attendance. One of those fans, 94-year-old Marian Morreale, had one amazing and inspirational story that was shared Thursday by Lou Michel of The Buffalo News.
Morreale, a WWII veteran, suffered an amputation of her left leg last year. Knowing that the Sabres’ opening night was coming up soon, she decided to spend three months practicing. Practicing for what you might wonder? Practicing to stand for the national anthem of course.
That hard work and dedication was on full display Thursday as Morreale, with the help of her walker, stood up from her wheelchair for the national anthem.
Since Morreale does not have a prosthetic limb, she gave an explanation of what she was about to do beforehand:
“I won’t be able to put my arm across my heart. I’m on one leg, and I have to hang on to my walker.”
She also stated:
“I think for these young athletes and the salaries they make, they should stand for the national anthem.”
The Coast Guard veteran said she does not hold hard feelings against those who kneel during the national anthem, but she believes the anthem is too sacred to become a forum for political statements.
The Sabres have a rich history of honoring military personnel. “When we have our national anthem, we always have a member of the armed forces with our flag bearers right on the ice,” said Chris Bandura, the team’s vice president of media relations. “It has been a tradition for us for years.”
— Tim Wenger (@TimWBEN) October 5, 2017
Morreale was just 20 years old when she joined the Coast Guard in 1943. “You learn discipline, you learn to take orders with a smile and you learn who to keep company with. People judge who you are by your associates,” she said. “I tell my grandkids that the Coast Guard ‘grew me up.’”
Morreale, who served for three years, said initially she had wanted to join the Marines.
“But this real good friend of mine who also wanted to serve said, ‘Why don’t we go into the Coast Guard?’ She thought the uniforms were prettier. They were Navy blue, and to this day if you give me something Navy blue, I’ll wear it,” she said.
Morreale’s late husband, Vincent Sr., who served in the Army during World War II, passed away in 2010 at the age of 88. Together they raised four children.
Her son says he remains in awe of his mother’s courage as a young woman and now in old age.
“She actually had the courage to leave her home and serve in the military, and now she is taking another courageous step and standing for the national anthem,” Vincent Morreale said. “Can you imagine having so much love for this country?”
Her daughter, Joan Brechtel, said that sometimes, she cries during the national anthem, but instead on Thursday, she smiled.
Shortly after Morreale stood for the anthem, her family took her home.
“She doesn’t have enough energy to stay,” Brechtel said. “She is 94.”
Personally, I think she is right, we should all honor our country and stand for the flag.
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