articulate - adjective
1. having parts connected by joints, as in "articulated"
2. made up of distinct words joined together in such a way as to convey meaning
3. able to express oneself clearly and distinctly
4. well formulated, clearly presented

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Getting It -- Patriotism and Our Pledge of Allegiance

What a beautiful picture.

Some people criticize our flag.  Some burn it.  Some fly it upside down.

I think they just don't "get it."

To me, there's nothing quite so beautiful as our country's flag, whipping in the breeze.  It proclaims honor.  It voices national pride.  It shouts victory!

Today in church, we held a memorial service for the heroes who gave their lives to help save others in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  It was an incredible service.  You could tell everyone was engaged, everyone was getting it.  It touched my heart.

There was the 50-something year old pastor, who couldn't sing "God Bless America" without tearing up.  He gets it.

There was the 90-something year old veteran of WWII, standing as erect as he could, holding his oxygen tank, and proudly warbling the songs from memory. He gets it.

There was the 80-something year old navy veteran who can hold his breath longer than anyone else in our church (we competed last year!), who just buried his wife last week.  He made it through the songs, but he took a lot more breaths than normal.  He gets it.

There was the 70-something year old man who has endured major health challenges recently.  He stood in front of me at full attention when we pledged allegiance to the flag.  He always sits in the same place (as do we), and over the years I've noticed that he never conforms to the ritual phrasing of the pledge.

You know how we always do it...

I pledge allegiance.
To the flag.
Of the United States of America.
And to the republic.
For which it stands.
One nation.
Under God.
With liberty.
And justice.
For all.

But he runs the words together more like the phrasing of complete sentences (like they were originally meant to be?).  Consequently, he has to stop occasionally and wait for everyone else to catch up.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
and to the republic for which it stands,
one nation under God!  (he always says this with emphasis)
With liberty and justice for all.

He gets it.

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