“Getting back to school, getting back to school, I remember a teacher that I had. Now I only wee, I went, I went through the seventh grade, I went through the seventh grade. I left home when I was 10 years old because I was hungry. (laughter) And .. this is true. I worked in the Summer and went to school in the Winter. But, I had this one teacher, he was the principal of the Harrison school, in Viennese Indiana. To me, this was the greatest teacher, a real sage of..of my time, anyhow.
He had such wisdom. And we were all reciting the Pledge of Allegiance one day, and he walked over. This little old teacher … Mr. Lasswell was his name. … Mr. Lasswell was his ah …
(at this point a pause and laughter. Red is making faces and playing with his hat!)
He says: …
“I’ve been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance .. all semester … and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you.
If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word.
*I* — me, an individual, a committee of one.
*Pledge*–dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.
*Allegiance*–my love and my devotion.
*To the Flag*–our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there is respect, because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody’s job.
*United*–that means that we have all come together.
*States*–individual communities that have united into 48 great states. 48 individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose, all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that’s love for country.
*And to the Republic*–Republic, a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
*For Which It Stands*
*One Nation* — One nation, meaning, so blessed by God.
*Indivisible* — incapable of being divided.
*With Liberty* — which is freedom, the right of power to live one’s own life without threats or fear or some sort of retaliation.
*And Justice* — the principle or qualities of dealing fairly with others.
*For All*–For all… which means boys and girls, it’s as much your country, as it is mine.”
And now boys and girls let me hear you recite, the Pledge of Allegiance.
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance – “under God”.
Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said, “That is a prayer” and that would be eliminated from schools, too?