I have been seeing some comments on this topic on social media and also in the news.
I remember being a child of the sixty’s and going to public school. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer were not compulsory, but no one thought to question those in authority. If the teacher requested the class to stand, put their hands on their hearts, we did so. When we sang patriotic songs in music class in elementary school, no one objected. Even today, when I go to a ball game, or graduation ceremony, or anywhere the Pledge is given, I proudly hold my hand over my heart and thank God that I live in a free country.
Being free does not mean without honor. When we say the Pledge, we honor our country and what it stands for. I don’t understand the mentality of those who are ‘offended’ when the Pledge is spoken. It is my view that if someone is offended by the Pledge of Allegiance, or offended by patriotic songs, then they are in the wrong country.
Why are the offended ones here? What has attracted them to the United States of America? This is a free country, and they are welcome to leave if they are offended. On the other hand, something has brought them here. As a nation, it is in our best interest to engender and encourage love and honor for our way of life. Thousands have died for these principles, and our battle fields have been painted red in the securing of same.
When I look at society’s problems, I see that in many respects, there is lack of honor for others and disrespect for self. If we do not teach respect in our schools, we have no reason to wonder why respect is lacking.
Honor for country and others is part of the socializing of our children. Yes, this task begins at home, but it is also incumbent upon our schools (where our children spend the majority of their days) to reinforce what should be taught at home.
My parents taught me respect for authority, and the teachers, public servants and others in authority reinforced those lessons. Teachers model respect. Teachers model citizenship. Should this be ‘forced?’ I don’t think so. However, I don’t think that the schools should stop modeling what good citizenship looks like. The schools train our children, and should encourage them to think of others, be grateful for the American way of life, and also to preserve that lifestyle. If we do not teach them to honor it, we cannot expect them to cherish it.
Until next time.