Honoring America through song, pledge


Photo courtesy Spc. Paul A. Holston

During an Iraq ceremony to become American citizens, service members pledge allegiance to the country. Men and women of all races stand together with their hands on their hearts to honor America.

“O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave,” and “…one nation under God, indivisible…” are just a few lines from the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance most people believe bring our country together.

Reasons why we stand during this significant song and pledge include honoring not only our free country but those who have given everything to keep it that way.

The First Amendment states American citizens have a freedom to speech and a freedom to petition the government when the people think the authorities are in the wrong. Some choose to use their freedoms to protest against the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance.

An NFL player originally chose to sit during the National Anthem in August 2016 to protest “police brutality and racial inequality in the United States,” “Sports Illustrated” reporter Khadrice Rollins said in an May 23, 2018 article.

This NFL player was Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers; after talking to a former NFL player and marine, he decided to kneel during the song. Eventually, his teammate, Eric Reid, decided to join him in the the protest and kneeled next to him on a military appreciation night. This event was the kickoff of the debate.

The NFL made the a rule May 23, 2018 that said, players on the field must stand during the National Anthem.

A sixth grader from Lakeland, Florida decided he would sit during the Pledge of Allegiance and was arrested Feb. 4. That day, the 11 year-old boy had a substitute teacher who had asked him to stand during the pledge; not knowing that the school did not make students participate. The boy then continued to say he thought of the pledge as racist, the substitute then used choice words to continue the argument. The sub called the office because she did not believe it was her problem to deal with. The boy was arrested that day.

“School district authorities stressed that the student was arrested for disruption, not for refusing to stand,” “Time Magazine” reporter Casey Quackenbush said in an Feb. 19 article.

Most believe this situation should have been handled differently, and the boy would not have been arrested.

Personally, I always stand during the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance out of respect for our country. I think anyone who is happy to be in American would do the same.

I also am a strong believer that others have the right to their own opinions, but it is hard not to be angered when someone decides not to honor our country. I see it as if that person would rather have the attention on themselves rather then for the people who have fought for America.

I think people should stand for the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance simply because without the people who fought for our country, we would not have the rights and freedoms we have now.

People who choose to stand or kneel should not do so because of a racial issue, they need find a reason to stand. Stand for the reason slavery was abolished and people now have the rights and freedoms that they once did not have.

Everyone has a reason to stand to honor America.