97-year-old grandpa takes a knee
John Middlemas, 97-year-old World War II veteran, takes a knee. Credit: Twitter, Brennan Gilmore

A photo of a 97-year old World War II veteran from Springfield, Missouri taking a knee in solidarity with NFL players has gone viral.

On Sunday, Brennan Gilmore posted a photo of his 97-year-old grandfather, John Middlemas kneeling while wearing his World War II veteran’s cap. 

“My grandpa is a 97-year-old WWII vet & Missouri farmer who wanted to join w/ those who #TakeaKnee: "those kids have every right to protest," Brennan wrote in the tweet. 

After learning about President Trump’s stance on NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem, John Middlemas, a farmer and World War II veteran from Springfield, Missouri felt it was necessary to make a statement of his own.

"We were having a discussion about it and you know, the idea that people were pointing to disrespecting military servicemen as justification for these comments," Gilmore told CBS News.  "He wanted to send a message of solidarity to them," Gilmore added.

The photo was posted to Twitter Sunday and has been shared almost 150,000 times and has close to 400,000 “likes.”  

During an interview with the Springfield Leader,  Middlemas was asked why he decided to show his support for NFL players when there are many other people who believe kneeling during the National Anthem is a sign of disrespect. 

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

Twitter users are referring to Mr. Middlemas as “America’s Grandpa” for his display of solidarity.

Twitter reacts to 97-year-old World War II veteran who decided to take a knee

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