CARROLL GARDENS — More than a dozen local veterans protested Councilman Brad Lander at a Veterans Day ceremony in Carroll Park by turning their backs to him as he spoke, according to a report.
The veterans' stance against Lander was to rebuke his decision to not stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance at a September session of the City Council, the Brooklyn Paper reported.
Lander and other council members remained seated and stayed silent during the pledge on Sept. 28 to support fellow Council member Jumaane Williams, who received racist hate mail.
After reading the mail, Lander became compelled to join him, he said in a post on his website.
In a statement Monday, Lander said Veterans Day was a time to honor "all those who have served and sacrificed for our country and her deepest ideals" and he was "immensely grateful, for all they have given, to the veterans who I am lucky to count as constituents, friends, and family members."
"We may not always see eye-to-eye, but my abiding respect for them -- like my belief that it was necessary for me to sit in solidarity with a colleague facing racist attacks, and like my commitment that we must do more to help our country live up to its ideals -- comes from a deeply held patriotism and a heartfelt love of this country," he said.