Much of the time, I am in agreement with Edgar Allen Beem’s opinions, but his latest on the Pledge of Allegiance (“Socialism and the Pledge of Allegiance”) has me troubled. I get the impression that he personally does not approve of its recitation. I hope that I’m wrong.
I am most troubled by the young people today who do not wish to participate in the pledge. I wish that Edgar had given us further information about their reasons for not doing so. I could care less about the politics or the religious beliefs of the author of our pledge. It’s the words themselves that are important to me. In my 83 years, I never saw or heard of anyone giving a Nazi-style salute during the recitation of the pledge. If they did it before, who cares? Today, we put our right hand over our heart, or if in uniform, our right hand to our cap.
To our young people, I say, when you recite the pledge, you are pledging allegiance to our Constitution and to our Bill of Rights. You are not pledging allegiance to the politicians who run our country. They will come and go and make plenty of bad decisions along the way, but you can work together to make our country a better place. You must never be coerced into reciting the pledge and you can delete “under God” if that is your preference. But please, don’t lose your respect for our beautiful flag or the core values that our country represents.