I just saw a video of a friend’s preschooler saying the Pledge of Allegiance. She sat, wearing a big blue hair bow with her tiny little hand over her heart, and stated the words that so many Americans have memorized to the point of reciting them by rote, without even having to think about it.

There was a point in time when I would’ve watched such a video and thought about how darling she was sitting there. I would’ve listened to the sound of her tiny voice and the way her little mouth handled certain consonants, knowing that, one day, her mom would be a little sad when she started to pronounce them correctly. I would’ve gotten tickled at the way she obviously concentrated so hard to remember the words, and her delight with herself at the end.

But staying focused on those things is not really an option any more. Not now. Not when a generation of fresh, new Americans is growing up without the slightest understanding of where they live. They don’t have a clue about the blessing that is theirs simply by virtue of where Mom and Dad happen to call home. They don’t have a real grasp of how much American blood has been selflessly donated to foreign soil, at great personal sacrifice, so they can say or do just about anything they want.

No. The cute is buried now, because not every child learns the Pledge of Allegiance anymore…and it’s shocking when they do.

If we don’t teach them, it’s no longer likely anyone else will, and they will never fully grasp “allegiance.” They will be calloused about liberty and justice, counting them not as the costly privileges of a free country, but things to which they are entitled. In the end, they will never understand that we exist as a nation under God, maybe never even knowing that He was, and is, at the heart of it all. They will, instead, be casual about standing for anything.

I’m thankful for the conscientious young parents who thought to begin lessons in patriotism early, and dared to be boldly patriotic in a time when it’s really only observed out loud one day a year. If they, and others like them, don’t pass the torch, our future will only be played out as masses of people living, hearts turned inward, in the States of America, because there will be nothing UNITED about us.

Remember, today. The struggles, the sacrifice…don’t waste any of it. Look at the wonder on a child’s face as the fireworks flash in their eyes, then take their hand and put it over their heart.

Teach them.

I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America,
and to the Republic, for which it stands,
one nation, under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.


“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 KJV 

(I’m taking some license with this verse, as it’s obviously about teaching your child the way of faith. But I also think it applies in this instance, too, and I’m going to trust that God is okay with me using it thus. 😉 )