The Fourth of July ~ A day of relaxation, picnics, fireworks and all that goes with that. But ~ perhaps ~ we could make it a day of reflection. A day to think about where we’ve come as a nation, where we are going as a nation. I had something else written but then I was catching up on my favorite blogs and one of my favorite blogs (The durnMoose blog) had something that really caught my eye (and my ear).
Red Skelton, a veteran comic who successfully plied his trade as a sentimental clown figure in vaudeville and radio, delighted television audiences for twenty years playing characters he had perfected Red Skelton on radio — Clem Kadiddlehopper, Freddie the Freeloader, and the Mean Widdle Kid — on his weekly variety television program, “The Red Skelton Show.” On 14 January 1969, Skelton offered his television audience his reminiscence of an incident from his schoolboy days in Indiana.
Unfortunately, there is only the audio of this particular show, but it’s thought provoking and profound.
If you would like – the Moose also posted a transcript of the story:
The Pledge of Allegiance:
I: Me, an individual, a committee of one.
PLEDGE: Dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity.
ALLEGIANCE: My love and my devotion.
TO THE FLAG: Our 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.
UNITED: That means that we have all come together.
STATES: Individual communities that have united into 48 great states. Forty-eight 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.
AND TO THE REPUBLIC: 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 NATION: One nation, meaning “so blessed by God.”
INDIVISIBLE: Incapable of being divided.
WITH LIBERTY: Which is freedom, the right of power to live one’s own life without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.
AND JUSTICE: The principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.
FOR ALL: For 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:
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: “under God.” Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer, and that would be eliminated from schools too?