Accolades must be given to the city of Anderson for sponsoring the recent Fourth of July parade. And, equal appreciation for those participants who volunteered their time and efforts in making it a spectacular event.

Unfortunately, it was disturbing and embarrassing to see so many parade viewers lack the respect and common courtesy to stand for the honor guard and the flag. One must question if these people lacked the proper etiquette? Or were they so self-absorbed or apathetic to recognize what was before them?

Perhaps those who just sat were oblivious — having no clue what it took to gain that flag in front of them. The last stanza of the Declaration of Independence reads: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

Contrary to perception, the people who signed these words were not old gray-haired men with powdered wigs. Most were in their 30s and 40s, with some in their 20s. Many of those would lose their homes, their families and their lives for that flag. It would take eight agonizing years, and sacrifice beyond modern comprehension, to gain the American independence, freedom and liberty.

John Adams would later write: “You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom." Sadly, those who sat with such indifference to the flag proved Mr. Adams correct.

Stevin Kestner, Anderson