A Salute to Veterans
By Kim L. Fritzemeier
KFRM Central Kansas Reporter
Farm Wife along the Stafford/Reno County Line
October 28, 2011
We often take for granted
the very things
that most deserve our gratitude.
It was at Byers Grade School that I learned the words to the Pledge of Allegiance. Every morning, we'd turn our eyes to the northwest corner of the room, put our little hands over our hearts and repeat this oath:
(I'm second from the left)
I pledge allegiance to the flag
Of the United States of America
And to the republic for which it stands
With liberty and justice
The memorizing came, I suppose, from repeating it every day. At first, you have to concentrate hard. You have to think about each and every word to make sure you get it right. There weren't many students in that first and second grade classroom. If you messed up, Mrs. Bond might hear you in the dozen or so voices.
Through the years, it could be like many things we say by rote. We may not truly think about the meaning. But there's just something about saying those words in unison with 50,000-plus people that makes me feel the words to the depth of my bones.
The Ceremony of Allegiance is as much a part of K-State football games as the coin toss. It gives me the chills - every single time.
So on this Veteran's Day, let's think about our allegiance and where it lies. It's not in the political skirmishes. It's not in the political posturing. It should have the same importance and pride that came when we finally remembered the whole pledge as we stood in our first grade classrooms with our hands placed firmly over our hearts:
On this Veterans' Day, I thank the veterans and the active duty service personnel who protect my right to say the Pledge of Allegiance. It's up to all of us to not just utter the words, but live them.
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