This I Believe

Morgan - Reno, Nevada
Entered on November 26, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

In my opinion, American society has lost a lot of respect for important things. We are a nation divided. It’s not like the 50s where neighbors said hello in the street and kids for the most part stayed out of trouble. Also there is a lot of controversy on things that helped to shape our nation. I believe that we need to come together in however small of ways as a nation, and therefore, I believe that the pledge should be said by every American citizen, and the controversial issues should be dropped.

At my school, the pledge is said by the people on the morning announcements every day. It is a broadcast, so we watch it on television. They display the flag and we stand and say the pledge…well, some of us do. Most everybody stands, but less than half the people actually say the words. I would bet that most of those people couldn’t even write our pledge of allegiance, even though we were taught the words in kindergarten.

One day, last year, during the pledge, I could only hear my voice saying the pledge. My teacher was on the phone and people were standing, but they were bent over their desks finishing homework due for the day. Others were mouthing the words, but weren’t saying them. I was first embarrassed, but then I found myself staring at the flag, and thinking. The flag has been around since the beginnings of America. It has seen wars and political battles, and it represents the hard work and strife the people of our country have endured. I started thinking about what I have learned so far about American history. About the Revolutionary War, the Great depression and the wars that came around that time—the Civil Rights Movement and the advancements in women’s rights. And I thought to myself, we have it so incredibly easy now. We don’t have to worry about freedom and rights. We have the privilege to go to school and provide for our families in the way we choose. We live in a society where no one is deprived of an education. All of the great things we have today are because of the people in history; they unfolded it for us. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am so thankful that I didn’t have to live through those times. I feel blessed to live in this time.

The pledge has been around since 1892 and it encompasses the values and beliefs of the people that made our history and future. I believe that these values should be withheld through time. These people deserved to be remembered and credited. I believe that saying the pledge is a way to do this, without any real effort or imposition on any one’s lives. To me, it doesn’t matter whether or not you believe in God. The people of our past did, and that was important to them, so the tradition should be kept. You might not share the same beliefs, but honor the people that have made our great nation what it is today. Give those that gave their lives a place in our time.