On January 14, 1969, I presented “The Little Old Man” as a teacher.
The time was 1923.The students had finished reciting the Pledge of Allegiance which at the time was but 10 years old. The old sage called the children together and said–
“Boys and girls, I have been listening to you recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it appears that it has become monotonous to you or could it be you do not know the meaning of those words. If I may, I would like to recite the Pledge and give to you a definition of the words.
I—-meaning 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.
Of the 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 cause, and that’s love of country.
And to the Republic—-a 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—-meaning, so blessed by God.
Indivisible—-incapable of being divided.
With Liberty—-which is freedom and the right of power to live one’s life without threats or fear or any sort of retaliation.
And justice—-The principle and quality of dealing fairly with others.
For all.—-which means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.”
Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our nation, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance “under God.” Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said, “That’s a prayer” and that would be eliminated from schools, too?