I have consciously avoided posting anything on this site that might be construed as political. On the other hand, I proudly champion anything that might be considered as patriotic. This post might cross into both topics.
Memorial Day originated after the Civil War to honor all Americans who died while in military service. Traditionally celebrated on the thirtieth of May, it is now celebrated on the last Monday in May, as mandated by the “Uniform Monday Holiday Act,” passed by Congress in 1968. As we move further from the actual purpose of Memorial Day, the holiday has increasingly become considered to be the unofficial start of summer. That’s where this post might become slightly political.
The original pledge was written in 1892 by an individual who hoped it might be used by citizens of any country. It read: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Revisions were made in 1923 and 1954 to create the thirty-one word pledge we say today.
We baby boomers started every school day, with our hand over our heart, reciting those words. Almost every one of us was the child of a World War II veteran and likely the grandchild of a World War I veteran as well. We were girl scouts or boy scouts, and our parents impressed on us the importance of those words. Sadly, the same regimen and ritual is no longer a universal practice, especially in today’s classrooms. American patriotism is disappearing an alarming pace.
Having said that, I wanted to provide you with a very short video. I hope you might take the time to sit down with your grandchildren, or at least send this to your children, so that they might sit down with their children to watch and discuss it. The video is a monologue that comedian, Red Skelton, presented at the White House in 1969. Red Skelton remembered how his school principal took the time to explain the words and meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance, when Red was a small boy growing up in Vincennes, Indiana.
The actual verbiage is available by clicking here.