As I stood to say the Pledge of Allegiance in my high school classroom back in the early 1970s, I remember some of my classmates stood silent in protest. When I queried them later, their responses went something like this, “there is not justice for all and I feel hypocritical saying something that is not absolutely true.” I pondered that in my teenage mind and they were right as evidenced in newspaper articles, movies, books, etc. Life is not fair and people are not perfect. Our government is not fail-proof but is it really wrong to set high ideals?
For as long as I can remember, I would feel something swell inside me every time I said the Pledge of Allegiance or sang a patriotic song. It just felt good and right to stand and speak about freedom and personal liberty. It felt good to be reminded of those who paid for our freedom with their lives. My father fought in Okinawa in World War II and I have always felt fortunate to be an American. I understood early on that freedom isn’t free.
As Independence Day approaches, my thoughts wander back to those early swellings in my soul. I was taught from my childhood about the founding of this country and of the inspired men who drafted our Declaration of Independence. I believe God had His hand in all of America’s beginnings. I know this thinking is not popular today. Be that as it may, our country is struggling in this new century and many think July 4 is just another day to barbecue. As for me and my house, we will pray for America. We will fly her flag, say her pledge and sing her songs. We will do our part to uphold her high ideals.