When Craig and Kimberly Cromer go to a football game, they always bring an American flag. “My wife takes the U.S. flag with us to all of our football games, and we normally ZIP-tie it to the handrail,” Craig Cromer, who is also a 21-year Air Force veteran, told WSVN.
But when the veteran and his wife brought their flag to watch the University of Miami Hurricanes play the Appalachian State Mountaineers, their patriotism served a secondary purpose. When the Cromers saw a cat falling from the balcony above them, they used their flag as a safety net — and help save the animal’s life.
— Hollywood (@DannyWQAM) September 11, 2021
At some point during the second quarter, the Cromers looked up to see the cat precariously dangling the upper deck. “My wife and I looked up and we could see the butt of an animal, we couldn’t tell what kind it was,” Craig Cromer, who is also an Air Force Veteran, told Fox & Friends.
Students were trying to pull the cat to safety from the balcony above, but the veteran knew it was just a matter of time before the animal fell down to where and his wife were sitting. “They couldn’t reach it,” the veteran recalled. “And the students were very passionate about, you know, saving the cat.”
— @ReakinHavoc (@reakinhavoc) September 11, 2021
So the Cromers ripped off the zip ties holding the flag to the handrail and stretched it out to catch the flailing cat, who, in its great distress, even peed on the crowd. Sure enough, the cat fell just minutes later–right into the American flag the Cromers stretched out to break its fall.
After falling into the flag, the cat — who was stunned, but otherwise appeared unharmed — was caught by a nearby crowd of students. Meanwhile, the stadium broke into cheers. “This is my first catch,” the veteran proudly told the Miami Herald.
But even though the Cromers’ quick thinking saved the cat from serious injury or death, some people aren’t happy about how the American flag was used.
“I’ve seen any number of ways to desecrate the American Flag but this is the latest among those who see it as a piece of cloth,” one person commented on the Miami Herald story. “Dumbing down of America. Without a clue.”
— VICTOR BERMUDEZ (@vicbermudez) September 11, 2021
“I also twinged just a bit, but I think that it was appropriate to use it in this case & not a desecration,” another commenter noted, arguing that using the flag to save the cat’s life was surely a worthy exception. “The flag after all is a symbol of what makes this country great & one of those things is our compassion & desire to be of service to those in need of help,” she wrote. “Surely prompt action was more important than high ideals in this instance.”
“The American flag at its best is a symbol of protection and safety,” a third person wrote in the comments section. “Therefore, using it to save a life was quite appropriate.”
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