Following outrage on social media that a US airman took a knee during a Remembrance Day service near the UK’s Mildenhall War Memorial on Sunday, US Air Force officials have clarified that the servicemember was just feeling faint.
According to Stars and Stripes, the first class airman from RAF Mildenhall got down on one knee as reveille, a bugle call to “awaken troops for morning roll call,” began to play. The airman did stand and salute the US and British national anthems prior to stepping away from the formation.
After being alerted to the overwhelming amount of critics claiming the airman was “mimicking football player Colin Kaepernick’s protest movement against police brutality,” officials stationed at RAF Mildenhall said that feeling faint after locking one’s knees during formation is a “common occurrence for airmen participating in these types of events.”
“At no time did this airman display or intend any disrespect to either the US or UK servicemembers the event was honoring,” the statement added.
The name of the man in question is being withheld due to concerns about his safety.
The image was widely shared on the Facebook page “Traditional British Group” hours after the ceremonial event took place. The photo was “sent in by a page reader” before being shared on several other Facebook pages, Stars and Stripes reported. The image has been shared on Facebook more than 700 times and received more than 400 comments.