Written by Phil Cerroni
By Phil Cerroni
From our earliest years we have said the Pledge of Allegiance, but decades of repetition can serve to degrade it from a genuine expression of patriotism to a routine gesture reserved for baseball games and the Fourth of July.
Recently, I had an opportunity to sit down with students at Nimitz High School and talk about what our National Pledge means to them.
“I've always looked at it as freedom to our country,” said Alyson Amburgey, a sophomore who has spent her entire educational career in Irving ISD. “Whenever I say the pledge it gives me that feeling that I'm safe, that I know that I'm here for a reason. When I was little I just said it because everybody else said it, but once I was about in fifth grade, my mom said 'look, it's respect.'”
Another sophomore, Joshua Amador, not only thinks of the pledge as a symbol pregnant with meaning but as a smalls means of service to the United States as well.
“We pledge to our flag as a symbol of freedom to our troops [and] keeping them safe,” Amador said.
It is a privilege the students would hate to lose.
“I really do think we say it for a reason. If we stopped it, I don't think it would show respect for our country. It would be kind of wrong,” Amburgey continued seriously.
Not only do the students highly respect our National Pledge but the Texas Pledge, as well, which is recited every morning after the National Pledge. Texans have a reputation for being very proud of their state heritage in the same way the rest of the country is proud of our national one. To the students, they mean almost the same thing.
“I never really looked at the difference of what the words were saying in the Pledge,” Amburgey laughed.
Amador attributes much of his respect for the flag to the strong community that is fostered at the city level.
“We all come as one, and then we all care for each other. We really do have a good environment [in Irving]. We're all one family taking care of each other,” he said.
This is one of the first things Texans bring up when talking about being Texan. They are in it together with an all for one and one for all mentality serving “the republic for which It stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
It is especially motivating, in light of the upcoming election, to see that the roots and future of our nation have a firm foundation in their daily lives that reaches from their city to their state to their country.