Point: Should students say the Pledge of Allegiance in school?

Shari Meltzer, Staff Writer

How many times have you heard “please stand for the pledge” in your lifetime?  Probably thousands.

Now how many times have you actually stood up to recite the words?  Probably a lot fewer.

The Pledge of Allegiance stands as a representation of all that our country has experienced throughout the years.

It stands as a reminder of what our founding fathers bore witness to when fighting for our independence as a nation.

When Francis Bellamy wrote the pledge in 1892, it was for a children’s magazine as part of the National Public School Celebration of Columbus Day, and it was meant to be recited on a daily basis.

At that time, the spirit of patriotism and nationalism was wavering in Americans’ hearts.

It was written in order to reawaken Americanism, and what better place to start than in public schools around the country?

Thus, it is perfectly appropriate that we recite the Pledge of Allegience in public school, and there is no reason why American students shouldn’t have to say it daily.

The Pledge is still relevant today as a powerful force for unity, and it continues to represent patriotism and pride in our country.

“I believe that saying the Pledge of Allegiance daily allows for the entirety of the country to feel united as a whole,” said junior Karen Yeh.

Some oppose saying the Pledge in public schools, mainly because of the phrase “Under God,” which opponents feel threaten freedom of religion.

However, we are not forcing people to convert to a specific religion or believe in God by saying the Pledge.

The Pledge does not intend to discriminate against or offend believers of any one religion.  Therefore, the argument against the Pledge in terms of religion is invalid.

In fact, in 2010 the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the words are of a “ceremonial and patriotic nature,” and had nothing to do with established religion.

The Pledge still provides the same connotation that it previously had before “under God” was added.  It is a positive way to remind us of our nation’s rich history and of the struggles that allowed us to get to where we are today and live the lives that we have in twenty first century America.

While pledging to the Flag is, in fact, voluntary, that does not mean that stating it is any less important.

By standing up, every single day and saying the Pledge, we are not only taking pride in our country, but also are thanking past and present generations for their sacrifices.

We are honoring the humble service that our armed forces and our political leaders provide for the United States.

It shows respect and honor to rise to say the pledge, and only takes a total of twenty seconds.

Students and teachers alike should continue to say the Pledge daily, and as they do, should consider its true significance as an honorable symbol of the American people.