Growing up in the sixties in America, each weekday my father, smiled at us with a kiss before he went to work to earn a living for his wife and children. Mother tended to us with clean, conservative clothes, a warm breakfast, and a hand packed lunch. Then she too, kissed us with a smile as we left the house and walked with neighborhood friends, the two blocks to our public school.
Immediately after the second school bell rang we stopped whatever it was, we were doing. There was never a moment of hesitation or pause. That one ringing bell changed the tone of the moment as if a wave of honor had just washed over us. Everyone within earshot of the school building, including sidewalks and neighboring homes beyond, to a moment to pause.
From Kindergarten on, our student body was undivided and instantly responded with quiet and due respect as we pushed our chairs neatly under the desk, and stood at serious attention. Parents, teachers, staff and visitors alike, each and every one, turned to face the American flag, which proudly hung in the corner of every classroom in our school.
No one stirred in collective silence lending me to listen with all my might. I nostalgically recall the overhead speaker crackling while the vinyl recording spun around and we waited for the familiar song with the resounding words, to begin:
Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Next, we pledged our allegiance.
I remember the feeling of duty to stand straight. I held my chin high, my feet neatly together and my hand laid sincerely, over my heart, while taking an oath I didn’t nearly understand.
“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.”
Pledging allegiance is a promise to be true to the flag that represents us as one nation under God. Yet, in this sacred pledge we are not making a covenant with the government of our country. The vow we are taking is to the republic for which it stands. A republic is a government that elects officials to represent their political wishes. The red stripes and blue stars embody that our institutions are of the people by the people and for the people.
It is obvious that President Obama has lost sight of our pledge of allegiance. And there is no higher position to set an example, than office of The President of The United States of America.
According to data from the 2012 Presidential election, 65,909,451 (51%) of the people voted for the president and 60,932,176 (47.16%) of the people voted for Governor Mitt Romney. All of these people are the Republic and his governing style is trampling the conservatives with no relief in sight.
Compromise is not always the correct political answer to the plight of democracy or problems of society. Sometimes it is time to fight back and hold ground, even if it is unpopular.
Perhaps President Obama should quickly step back, and then take a trip down memory road. I would like him to remember for himself, how it felt to be a child and pledging his allegiance, before maturity gave him the meaning.
He knows what it means now.