Rising to say pledge shows unity, pride

The Southerner

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Should Grady students be required to say the Pledge of Allegiance every day at school? 

BY MOLLY LOOMAN

Since I began Grady last year, we have never said the Pledge of Allegiance. Most students viewed this as a relief as they did not have to stand up and repeat the same paragraph they had been saying for years. I believe this relief is caused by the fact that we have forgotten what the Pledge of Allegiance truly is and why we say it.

While the Pledge of Allegiance may be viewed as monotonous, the words signify our country’s heritage. All over the world, countries celebrate their own history one way or another. The Pledge of Allegiance is our American way of remembering the foundation of our country, what we stand for as a nation and the work it took to get here. It teaches a historical lesson about the Revolutionary War and the principles this nation was built upon; these are principles that I believe a lot of people forget. It is a way for us all to remember the sacrifices people made in forming this country and to remember our nation’s rich history.

Another benefit of the Pledge of Allegiance is its power to unite. Saying the pledge in school would remind us all that we are one nation and one people. We often forget our commonalities and the pledge could be a unifying force.

Some may argue that we are forcing people who may not be citizens to pledge their allegiance to a country that is not their home. Just because the school says the pledge doesn’t mean everyone at school has to say it. I would suggest that everyone stand out of respect, as we do at a Braves or a Falcons game when the anthem is played. Those who wish to say the pledge should have the opportunity to do so. What I don’t understand is why high school was the point in which we stopped saying the pledge. From kindergarten to eighth grade, we said the pledge every day, every week, but suddenly in high school the idea of the pledge is abandoned. What changed? I believe the group of adolescents closest to voting age should be saying the pledge more than anyone. They should be reminded of the reason and history behind the rights being given to them.

Overall, we must put away this idea that the Pledge of Allegiance is just a bunch of words. Each line carries great significance. In only a few sentences we are reminded of our heritage, united as a people and given some ‘Murican-pride.’ It has been a tradition in classrooms all over the nation, so why stop now? Why does the entrance into high school mean that for some reason you have passed a time in which it was “appropriate” to say the pledge? It is a speech with no expiration date. And seeing that it would be an interruption that would take no longer than two minutes, I don’t see why we can’t raise the flag and say our Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.

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