Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Red Skelton - The Pledge of Allegiance

From the Red Skelton Hour, January 14, 1969

"Getting back to school, I remember a teacher that I had. Now I only went, I went through the seventh grade. I left home when I was 10 years old because I was hungry. (laughter) And .. this is true. I worked in the summer and went to school in the winter. But, I had this one teacher, he was the principal of the Harrison school, in Vincennes, Indiana. To me, this was the greatest teacher, a real sage of my time, anyhow.

"He had such wisdom. We were all reciting the Pledge of Allegiance one day, and he walked over. This little old teacher ... Mr. Lasswell was his name. He said:

"'I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?

Ime, an individual, a committee of one
Pledgededicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity
Allegiancemy love and my devotion
To the Flagour standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there's respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody's job
of the Unitedthat means that we have all come together
Statesindividual communities that have united into 48 great states. 48 individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose, all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that's love for country
of America, and to the RepublicRepublic ... a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people
For Which It Stands: One NationOne Nation ... meaning, so blessed by God
Indivisibleincapable of being divided
With Libertywhich is freedom, the right of power to live one's own life, without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation
And Justicethe principle or qualities of dealing fairly with others
For AllFor all ... which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine.'

"And now boys and girls let me hear you recite, the "Pledge of Allegiance."

By the way, why do we recite this as if we're still in first grade, three or four words at a time?

Try it like this:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
And to the Republic for which it stands:
One nation under God,
With liberty and justice for all.

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