Monday, January 12, 2009

Memory Monday - I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag

On a hot sunny day during the summer of 1969, I sat alone on my front porch. It’s strange that I would be sitting outside on the porch because I always preferred staying in the house when I was a child. Since my street was always busy with cars driving by, I probably sat on the front porch to watch.

School was about to start, and I remember sitting on the porch that day excited about entering first grade. I always loved books and learning, so I can understand why I would be excited about school. Earlier that summer I attended a summer Head Start program which probably ignited my excitement for learning.
On that hot summer day, as I sat on the porch alone, I thought about the Pledge of the Allegiance to the United States. I probably was taught this oath during my summer in Head Start. As I began reciting the oath, I wanted to do it perfectly. My dilemma was which hand to put over my heart—the left or right. I’m not sure if I recited the oath correctly or even used the correct hand, but I can still envision myself on the front porch trying to prepare for school by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

Although I may have not gotten it right that hot summer day, I would have plenty of opportunity during my 12 years in public school to recite this oath and learn that I needed to place my right hand over my heart. During those years, we stood and recited this oath every morning in school.

"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 was wondering if the pledge of allegiance is still done in public schools today so I asked my 7-year-old nephew. He said ‘yes, they did,” so I asked him to recite the pledge. He recited the pledge with his right hand over his heart. Without prompting, his 3-year-old sister mimicked her brother and put her right hand over her heart as her big brother recited the pledge.

For information on the history of the Pledge of Allegiance, visit the following websites.

  • The Flag of the United States of America

  • Pledge of Allegiance

    Cindy said...

    Dru - what a great memory! Thanks for sharing it. Yes, the schools still do (Thankfully!) the pledge every morning and my local elementary school even sings the National Anthem every morning. When we moved here we thought that was very different, but I'm sure my kids couldn't imagine starting the day without it now.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Dru,

    Great post!

    I remember saying the pledge in grade school. In retrospect, I recall not knowing what the heck I was reciting! LOL Those were big words for a 6-7yr old. I don't recall anyone really explaining what it all meant.

    That's my only misgivings with children having to memorize pledges.

    Back in the 1950's we were patriotic to a fault! LOL

    "Guided by the Ancestors"