Four Ann Arbor city council members chose to kneel during the Pledge of Allegiance at a meeting on Monday, Oct. 16.
Chip Smith, 5th Ward; Chuck Warpehoski, 5th Ward; Sumi Kailasapathy, 1st Ward; and Jason Frenzel, 1st Ward; moved in front of the council's table, turned toward the flag and took a knee when it came time to recite the Pledge of Allegiance after the meeting was called to order.
Warpehoski said the move was an act of attention, concern and respect.
"I can't speak to what is in each person's heart, but for me to 'take a knee' is an act of attention, of concern, and of respect," Warpehoski wrote on his website ahead of Monday's meeting and also stated at the meeting. "And it is in that spirit that I take a knee at tonight's City Council meeting: out of respect for the aspiration that we be a nation 'with liberty and justice for all,' with full attention that we fall short of that ideal in many ways, and with humble dedication to continue to work that the promise of the pledge may be fulfilled."
During the meeting, Kailasapathy said she knelt during the Pledge to demonstrate her commitment to upholding democratic values.
"For me, taking a knee is also showing solidarity with the group of people who have been doing this at the national level," she said.