Why I Stand During the Pledge


  It’s 10:05 a.m. and I hear the West Ranch fight song on the television. My classmates and I get ready to stand up and put our right hand our heart. To pledge to the flag.

  I start saying, brightly and loudly, “I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America. . .”

  But as I’m saying the pledge, I look and see my classmates either standing without saying anything, or sitting down. People look at me as I’m the only one actually pledging to the flag as I was taught to. I grow a little embarrassed. And then I start talking a little quieter.

  Ever since I was in first grade, I was taught to always stand up and pledge to the flag.

  Nine  years pass, and I still do the same exact thing.

  Nine years pass, and I see less and less people standing up to do the pledge. Soon, I’m a collect handful of students in my class that actually stand up to pledge.

  I do it out of habit.

  And because I need to.

  I keep telling myself that the more I pledge myself to the flag, what it says will come true.

  For me, the Pledge of Allegiance is a little flicker in a candle. It’s the light that will lead me to happiness. It’s my hope for America. The more I say that we are one nation, indivisible, and provide liberty and justice for all, would it actually happen?

  The pledge is my truce for America.

  My only hope that America might be okay after all.

  That once we stand up to put our right hand over our hearts, everyone, no matter who you are, will be connected one way or another. We are pledging to all the soldiers that die for America. We are pledging for a happy nation. We are pledging for the American Dream to be real.

  We are pledging to be one nation.

  But are we?

  There are children being ripped apart from their families all because they want a better life in America. Wars just keep raging on, our taxes keep rising higher, forcing families to be put out into the street, and people are dying because our healthcare system refuses to help us.

  Look at America. And try to tell me we are undivided.

  I don’t want to stand during the pledge anymore.

  I don’t want to keep saying something that won’t happen.

  I don’t want to say we are one nation when whenever I walk down the street, I feel guilty for all those people that have to live on the street.

  It’s not right to say the pledge when America is dying every single moment, every day.

  But I have to.

  If no one else says it, I have to say it to make sure there is at least a little bit hope left in this world. Someone in America has to believe for all of us.

  So when it’s 10:05 a.m. and the West Ranch fight song starts playing, I stand up. I stand up and put my right hand over my heart to pledge to the flag.

  I start saying, brightly and loudly, “I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America….”

  My classmates stare at me.

  I continue talking.