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World War II vet, 97, takes a knee in support of national anthem protest

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Posted at 10:42 AM, Sep 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-25 14:41:18-04

The photo of a 97-year-old World War Ii veteran is going viral after he took a knee in support of the national anthem protests in the NFL.

The photo, tweeted by Brennan Gilmore, shows his 97-year-old grandfather and Missouri farmer on one knee with the caption, "those kids have every right to protest."

The Springfield News Leader caught up with the man, identified as John Middlemas, on Sunday after the tweet went viral.

"I wanted to communicate what I always told to my grand-kids and everybody else," he told The Springfield News Leader. When they'd go to bed at night, we'd tell the kids we wanted to be like Jesus."

The photo is in response to President Donald Trump's statements on the protests, saying the NFL and its owners should fire the players who don't take a knee for the anthem.