I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG . . . FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEAR

I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG . . . FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEAR

From Chicken Soup for the Soul of America

I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag . . .
from the Bottom of My Heart

Our local public schoolchildren joined with more than 52 million students nationwide to salute our flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance on October 12, 2001. I asked these students if they knew the meaning of the words they were saying, and they assured me they did! I asked each of them to share with the class what the words meant to them. Afterwards, I marveled at the precious creative gifts our children possess, especially when one child added the words “from the bottom of my heart” while reciting his pledge.

Children have an uncanny ability to lift our spirits when we least expect it. I am convinced that they are the ideal messengers for the true spirit of peace and patriotism in America.

I pledge allegiance to the flag . . . from the bottom of my heart. . . .

I . . .

The first word in the Pledge of Allegiance is “I,” and it means me, an individual. I am one person. I am a six-year-old American kid, and I am happy to say the pledge to the flag of America at school with my good teacher. It makes me feel safe. When I heard about the sad news that happened to our country I was in a good place: I was sitting on my daddy’s lap.

Pledge allegiance . . .

“Pledge” means to promise. “Allegiance” means to do it with love. When you say these words you need to put your right hand over your heart to show that you promise to love America. Some people don’t understand what saying the pledge really means. They just mouth the words. I will never forget the brave heroes on the flight that crashed in Pittsburgh on September 11th. One man understood exactly what it means to pledge allegiance to our flag. He made this solemn promise when he turned to the others and said, “Let’s roll!”

To the flag . . .

The American flag is like a banner with stars and stripes on it. There is not another flag in the world like the American flag. We have a paper one in our window because they sold out of the real ones at Wal-Mart. Some people have tried to copy the American flag, but they can’t get the colors right. Some people have tried to burn it, but they just wind up hurting themselves.

Of the United States . . .

The United States is the name we came up with when we decided to unite the states and get away from the British. We didn’t have anything against them, we just wanted to be on our own because we did not believe in some of the things they believed in. For instance, they believed in having a queen, and we looked forward to becoming a more modern country. We wanted George Washington to be the president. Well, we had to fight a war because they had never heard of such a thing! After we won the war, the British people became our good friends, and some of them even moved over here.

Of America . . .

America is a country filled with lots of history. Many books have been written about it. I have read about nine or ten of them so far. Many people died for our country because they wanted freedom for the press. You can be anything you want to be when you grow up in America. It is a free country. When I grow up I want to be a fireman and play a little golf in my free time.

And to the republic . . .

Republics are a group of people who work at the White House. They carry briefcases and have lots of important meetings. They swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. Republics are not Democrats. My grandpa is one but not my dad. I do not know about my grandma or my mom. They have never mentioned it to me.

For which it stands . . .

When you say this part it means to rise up on your feet. Do not sit down when you are saying the Pledge of Allegiance. It is not proper. Stand up and think about those who died for our country. Me and my family went to Washington, D.C., on our vacation. One day we went to the Vietnam Memorial to look for my uncle’s name. When we found it, my dad cried. He said my uncle was one of the brave men for which it stands.

One nation . . .

This means a country filled with praying people. We know this is a true fact because President Bush always says “God bless America” when he speaks to the nation. My mom and my dad say that President Bush is doing a good job. If you want to vote on this you can go to CNN.com and talk to Larry King or Dan Rather about it.

Under God . . .

This part means we are below God’s roving eye. God is up in heaven and he is looking down on us. We are right here—under him. We can trust God to take care of Americans. If you say “In God we trust” instead of “under God,” it means about the same thing.

Indivisible . . .

Indivisible means we cannot see it. It is also called the hidden truth. Only God can see what is going on when things are indivisible, but he will help us see the hidden truth if we only trust and obey. There is no other way, just trust and obey.

With liberty . . .

Liberty is an awesome thing. It means freedom. We even named a bell after it. It is called the Liberty Bell. It got cracked once when someone was ringing it, but that did not stop our country from celebrating the Fourth of July. Americans will never let a cracked bell stop liberty. Let freedom ring!

And justice . . .

Justice means knowing the difference between doing what is right and doing what is wrong. Justice is the word for doing what is right. I do not know the word for doing what is wrong, but someday they will pay for it. President Bush has warned them that time is running out, and the FBI is closing in.

For all . . .

This means everybody is included. It doesn’t matter where your family lived before they came to America. Like me for example: I lived in Kentucky before I moved to Missouri. I am half-Mexican, half-Kentuckian, half-Baptist and half-Democrat. But none of that makes any difference because I am an American and I pledge allegiance to the flag from the bottom of my heart.

Jeannie S. Williams

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