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March 13, 2009

I Still Pledge My Allegiance

Joe Charlebois

Sarah Norris, a columnist for The Frederick News-Post, on February 28 submitted a column which gave us an insider’s view of early morning at a Frederick County high school. Ms. Norris describes the scene of fellow students ignoring the morning ritual of patriotic recitation that American students have recited for decades – the Pledge of Allegiance.


Ms. Norris admits that she “reluctantly stood and silently waited for the end of the pledge.” She notes that no one else seemed interested in the Pledge and they stood out of habit more than respect.


I understand that this current crop of high school students has less of a patriotic fervor than the Reagan generation did.


They have less respect as well.


Our pride in our country and respect for our country are not something that should be dismissed as cliché, rather they should be held fast.


If today’s teenagers “feel a fierce sense of pride toward America,” as Ms. Norris states, then they would be the loudest and strongest proponents of this morning call of pride.


What the students of today may be missing is an understanding of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Hollywood of yesteryear understood what this meant as they fought, and their families fought, to keep our country free from the despotism of the Third Reich, fascist Italy and Imperial Japan and then Soviet Russia. Take time to look at the words of two film stars of last century – John Wayne ( ) and comedian Red Skelton ( ) – as they define the true meaning of the pledge and why it is still as important now as it was in the past.

Frederick County is home to many who believe in “flag-waving values.” It is home to those who understand that we are not pledging allegiance to a “dollar store flag,” but rather to the republic for which it stands.

We who still recite the Pledge of Allegiance also understand that a divided house will fail. We who still recite the Pledge strive to maintain an America that will remain indivisible.

We who still recite the Pledge look for an America that realizes that liberty is not to be curtailed by man as it has been given by our Creator. Liberty is the ability for anyone to achieve their dreams without the worry that a heavy handed government will usurp this God given right.

We who still recite the Pledge look to the courts to provide justice for all, no matter one’s station in life.

Those that don’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance when offered the chance simply can’t understand the true meaning.

Those who don’t recite the Pledge and do understand the meaning, don’t believe in the basic nature of our country, its founding values, the Constitution, liberty, freedom and justice. These are the people who seek to divide our country.

Today’s high school and college students, no matter which side of the political spectrum they choose, should all agree on the simple tenets of the Pledge. If you don’t agree on these tenets and don’t pledge allegiance to the United States of America, who do you pledge your allegiance to?

Red Skelton Pledge      John Wayne Pledge


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