To pledge or not to pledge
Its not just the adults that have concerns about the Pledge of Allegiance. We kids have concerns about it too. Here is a kid (teenager) who was scared to stand up for what is important to him.
Every Monday during the announcements, we are asked to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance. On the best days, half the class will stand and even less will actually say it. I also know that only a few have sound religious or cultural reasons for doing so. For most people, its just not that big of a deal, and whether or not they stand has no bearing on how they live their lives.
I know this is a big deal, and I get very frustrated when other people dont recognize its importance. People who dont stand because they are lazy or just dont care are completely disregarding and disrespecting our American freedoms and beliefs. Individuals who just dont bother are ignoring all those who sacrificed themselves for a common belief the United States and what we stand for and represent as a nation.
I believe people who choose not to stand due to religious or philosophical reasons are at the very least utilizing the freedoms that our country provides and respecting what our constitution provides for us an arena for the expression of our own ideas and beliefs. We are and have been a consistent and reliable beacon in the world for equal rights, free expression and liberty. At the very least we can acknowledge this by pledging our allegiance to the country, the people, and the ideals that make it what it is.
Most people I talk to about this issue think I make a little too big a deal of it, but I feel strongly in the importance of this pledge. The youth of the United States are living in one of the most important and pivotal time periods in the history, and we will be making monumental decisions for our future as a nation. Being united under a single cause and striving to a single goal can change us as a nation; it can all start by reaffirming our faith in the United States
A North High School student, who feels strongly about this matter, wrote this.
I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
On September 8,1892, the Boston based "The Youth's Companion" magazine published a few words for students to repeat on Columbus Day that year. Written by Francis Bellamy, the circulation manager and a native of Rome, New York, and reprinted on thousands of leaflets, was sent out to public schools across the country. On October 12, 1892, the quadricentennial of Columbus' arrival, more than 12 million children recited the Pledge of Allegiance, thus beginning a required school-day ritual.
At the first National Flag Conference in Washington D.C., on June 14, 1923, a change was made. For clarity, the words "the Flag of the United States" replaced "my flag". In the following years various other changes were suggested, but were never formally adopted.
It was not until 1942 that Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance. One year later, in June 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that school children could not be forced to recite it. In fact, today only half of our fifty states have laws that encourage the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in the classroom!
In June of 1954 an amendment was made to add the words "under God". Then President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war."