10 Seconds for Our Freedom

Ever since kindergarten, it has been a daily routine to hear announcements and say the Pledge of Allegiance along with the person on the PA system. This wasn’t really a big deal to me. Everyone stood; it was a way to pay our respects to our country and our freedom. Often, there was a moment of silence to say a prayer, reflect on your day or otherwise.

Today, the majority of students sit during the pledge; some even play on their phones or listen to music during the pledge. Daily, in my Plus One class, I see four to six people stand for the pledge. Four to six people out of 27 stand to pay respect to our country and our freedom. According to a school-wide survey conducted by The Omniscient, out of 17 Plus One classes, 52 percent of students stood for the pledge. Many reasons may be attributed to a lack of standing for the pledge such as laziness, busyness, not wanting to be associated with the country and not wanting to say the phrase “under God.”

Personally, I have many family members who fought overseas, such as my late great uncle who fought in World War II. Everyday when the pledge comes on, it is a reminder of our freedom and the price people have paid for those freedoms. Are you still going to sit there out of laziness and busyness rather than stand for those who fought for our freedom? There are many brave men and women fighting overseas to protect our freedom. As an American, you can stand for an average 10 seconds in honor of their bravery and patriotism. Ten seconds is all it takes to pay your respects to those who gave their life for your freedom.

People also argue that they don’t want to pledge allegiance to the flag because they don’t agree with some of the decisions the leaders of our country make. To that I say: Do you enjoy freedom? Is your freedom protected? If you answer yes, then you’ve answered correctly. Our leaders haven’t done anything to restrict our freedoms as Americans. If you enjoy your liberty, please join with me and stand for the pledge to pay respects to those who protect our freedom.

The West Virginia Board of Education vs. Barnette case of 1943 allows students to “sit out from the pledge for any reason.” This case was brought to light because the pledge contains the phrase “one nation under God.” By saying the pledge, people automatically associate with certain monotheistic religions in which some don’t believe. When you stand for the pledge, you are standing because you respect this country and the freedoms it grants you. One of these freedoms is religion. If you want to continue to have this freedom of religion or

the lack thereof, stand for the pledge. Standing for the pledge is a simple act to pay respect to the ones who fight for our freedom. You don’t have to say “under God” if you don’t want to. However, you stand quietly in memory of those who risk their lives to protect your freedom.

If you don’t stand for the pledge, your inaction states that you don’t respect this country’s freedoms. If you don’t appreciate this freedom, why do you live in this country? If you don’t want to stand on behalf of the troops who protect our freedom every day, feel free to stand in front of them.

Next time when the pledge comes on, think about America and all the freedoms it affords you and those who fight to protect it. Stand for the pledge because freedom isn’t truly free. Ten seconds is all it takes to honor those who have died to protect your life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

– By Jacob Sipe