News alert! I have addresses of deployed service members! If you'd like to be a pen pal with an individual or support a unit, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And for today's blog .....
|Marines raising Old Glory on Iwo Jima |
Photo by Joe Rosenthal
On September 8, 1892, Francis Bellamy published the Pledge of Allegiance in the Youth's Companion.
In 1923, the words, "of the United States of America" were added.
In 1954, in response to the Communist threat of the times, President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words "under God," creating the 31-word pledge we say today.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
and to the republic for which it stands,
one nation, under God,
with liberty and justice for all.
The original Bellamy salute began with a military salute, and after reciting the words "to the flag," the arm was extended toward the flag.
In World War II, the Bellamy salute resembled the Nazi salute, so it was changed to keep the right hand over the heart throughout the pledge.
Most schools offer children the opportunity to recite it in the morning, but do not require the pledge.
And that's the beauty of our democracy - you have a choice.
Today my son is turning in a Social Studies project about the Bill of Rights. The project gave us an opportunity to learn together - when was the last time you read the Bill of Rights?
As we researched court cases for the first ten amendments, we were sometimes exasperated by the "unpatriotic actions" of free speech, including flag desecration. In one example, the infamous Westboro Church burned a flag while protesting outside a soldier's funeral. As a military family, this is a tough issue to discuss. But as I shared with my son, the flag is a symbol. It leads our troops in battle to defend our freedom. It rallies communities as we celebrate our democracy. But it is just a symbol. A burning flag is a sad sight but it does not take away our freedom. It only reinforces it.
It is also sad that the Westboro Church has so much hate in their hearts to protest near the funerals of fallen soliders. But America mourns with the soldiers' families - one nation under God. We stand behind them as they are presented with a folded flag that draped their loved one's casket - indivisible. A flag that symbolizes the freedom we will never give up to hate - liberty and justice for all.
To celebrate the freedom that our flag represents, I an giving away flag ornaments donated by the USO. In turn, I ask all SOS readers to consider how you can support the USO, http://www.uso.org/. The USO is more than airport lounges. It is a network of outreach centers to comfort military personnel and their families until "everyone comes home." I volunteered with the USO Outreach Center at Fort Meade and I've enjoyed their concerts here at Hickam AFB. I know first hand the USO makes a difference.
To receive a flag,
1. Leave a comment about Old Glory.
2. Send your mailing address to email@example.com.
3. The next time you see a flag, think of the military personnel around the world who defend the democracy that it represents.
Please join me on Friday, September 10, as we remember 9/11. My blog will also be posted on:
- Romance Roll Call, http://www.romancerollcall.com/
- Romantic Times' Daily Blog, http://www.romantictimes.com/