Monday, July 5, 2010

A Memory For Monday (With The Flag)

I had only lived in America for a few days when during the morning announcements at my junior high school everyone in my art class suddenly stood up and began saying something I had never before heard. I must have had a puzzled look on my face, because after everyone sat down, my kind art teacher Mr. Lee called me over to his desk. He tenderly explained that the students had been reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. He went on to explain to me that I didn’t need to join in, but I should show respect by standing with them. His nonjudgmental explanation was a pivotal moment for me. It was then and there that I made the conscious decision to love and respect the traditions and symbols of what was to me a very new country. Since then I have always been deeply touched anytime the pledge is recited or the national anthem is sung, and I can honestly say that I do not take seeing a flag flying for granted.

  (Yankee Stadium, September 2004)
Of course, it was almost 20 years after this experience that I became 'officially eligible' to participate in The Pledge of Allegiance or the national anthem.  And I can honestly say whether I am standing in a school classroom with my children, at home outside around our displayed flag, at a Cub Scout Pack Meeting, a sporting event, a family home evening or even at a rodeo...I get teary eyed each and every time I participate in the pledge or the national anthem.

I take them both very seriously.
I truly am...
Proud To Be An American.


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