Bill Weigt National Anthem

In a stunning display of patriotism, a Peoria police officer who was paralyzed after being shot in the line of duty in the days before Christmas 2005 stood for the National Anthem for the first time late last month.

While some athletes who are at the pinnacle of physical strength disrespectfully take a knee in protest during our National Anthem, this officer who is paralyzed found a way to stand.

Determination and Patriotism

Bill Weigt, who is an investigator with the Peoria, Arizona Police Department, has been confined to a wheelchair for 14 years. But, this determined man made it his goal to not only stand for the Star Spangled Banner, but also to be in the Color Guard for the Opening Ceremony of the Arizona Special Olympics. (RELATED: Gene Simmons Tears Up Talking About What America Means to Him)

Watch this inspiring presentation of the colors and National Anthem:

Standing for the National Anthem

“I’d been wanting to stand for the national anthem for 14 years. I was a little overwhelmed at first, but it was so exciting,” the heroic officer said. “When everything hushed and the drums started, I’m telling you, everything just went right into place.”

“I planted the American flag, held on and stood up,” Weigt said.

“The wind was blowing, it was perfect. I felt very proud to hold the American flag up.”

Weigt served in the U.S. Army from 1993-96. His determination to be a patriotic American has been an inspiration to many people.

It’s encouraging and motivating for people with disabilities to see this man find a way to accomplish this despite his disability. It also is a good reminder to everyone else how important it is to stand for the National Anthem. We should not take this for granted.

Paralyzed in the Line of Duty

To fully understand the determination it took him to be able to stand for the National Anthem and present the flag in the Color Guard, it’s important to know what happened on December 17, 2005.  (RELATED: Police Officer Shot 9 Times Now Being Sued By Family Of Criminal Who Shot Him)

“It was a drug deal gone bad. Suspect just got out of his vehicle and started shooting,” Weigt said.

He was hit by bullet that penetrated his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

The military veteran’s life was forever changed that night as he served the residents of Peoria. More information on this shooting is in the Peoria Police tweeted video below.

Weigt has a Permobil F5 power chair, a state of art wheelchair, that allows him to change positions. He can go from sitting to laying down to standing with the aid of his wheelchair. This has given him more independence and helped him manage his pain.

“I had lot of spasms and pain,” Weigt said. “Being able to change positions helps with that. I feel good.”

Weigt said that despite his injuries, his life is good and “he feels good on the inside too.”

“Of course, I would like to go and get my body back, but I can’t, so I make the best of what I’ve got. And I have a really great life,” he said.

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