From the desk of author Michael Solomon

Michael Solomon was a 15-year veteran of the New York City Police Department and served  in its drug enforcement division, receiving well over a dozen awards for his excellent service
Date: March 7, 2007   Vol. 2 2- Issue 5

The Power of Thirty-One Little Words!

Every morning while I was attending elementary school, we would stand, face the front of the room where the American Flag was displayed and recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The Principal of PS 108, Mrs. McDonald, could be heard on the public address system throughout the school. Her voice even echoed throughout the halls. Everyone in the building at the time, including visitors to the school, parents with appointments to see a teacher or administrator would stand and recite the pledge. Sometimes in the halls a lone member of the custodial staff could be seen standing at attention with their right hand over their heart reciting the pledge.

At the time, it just seemed the natural thing to do. Today, when I look back at my youthful days, I now realize that those thirty-one little words are the most powerful words in America.

" 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."

Have you ever analyzed those word and their meaning? Let me do it for you as the late comedian and patriot, Red Skelton did in 1969.

"I, me an individual a committee of one.

Pledge, dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.

Allegiance, my love and my devotion.

To the flag, our standard, old glory, a symbol of freedom, wherever she waves there is respect because your loyalty has given her dignity that shouts that freedom is everyone's job.

United, that means that we have all come together.

States of America, individual communities that have united into 50 great states. Fifty individual states with pride, dignity and purpose all divided with imaginary boundaries yet united to a common purpose and that is love for country.

And to the republic, a state of which sovereign power is vested in representatives chosen by the people to govern and government is the people and it is from the people to the leaders not from the leaders to the people.

For which it stands, meaning one nation so blessed under God. Indivisible, incapable of being divided.

With liberty, which is freedom the right of power to live ones own life without threat, fear or some sort of retaliation.

And justice, the principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.

For all, which means it is as much your country as it is mine."

The Pledge of Allegiance was written for the popular children's magazine Youth's Companion by socialist author and Baptist minister Francis Bellamy on September 7, 1892. The owners of Youth's Companion were selling flags to schools, and approached Bellamy to write the Pledge for their advertising campaign. It was marketed as a way to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus arriving in the Americas and was first published on the following day.

Bellamy's original Pledge read as follows: I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, and was seen by some as a call for national unity and wholeness after the divisive Civil War.

In 1923 and 1924 the National Flag Conference called for the words my Flag to be changed to the Flag of the United States of America. The reason given was to ensure that immigrants knew to which flag reference was being made. The U.S. Congress officially recognized the Pledge as the official national pledge on December 28, 1945.

The Pledge of Allegiance is only thirty-one words, which may be the most powerful words you can hold in your heart.

In 1969, 38-years-ago, Red Skelton said, "since he was a little boy two words 'under God' were added to the Pledge of Allegiance. Wouldn't it be a shame if someday someone said that was a prayer and should not be recited in school." Even then he may have known.

Those words should never be torn apart by a judges gavel or attacked by the ACLU as they were in Elk Grove, California. Dr. Michael Newdow attacked the words "Under God" proclaiming that they violate the first-amendment to the constitution of separation of church and state. Does he not realize that both he and the ACLU have it backwards. Our founding fathers didn't write it to stop the church or religion from interfering with the government. It was written so the government would not interfere with the church. They did not want anyone who came to settle in America to leave because the government was interfering with their right to religious freedom.

The first amendment clearly states, "Congress shall make no law respecting and establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

This nation was founded under the belief that our forefathers and those who came before them were guided by a divine spirit. Let us examine the Declaration of Independence.

"When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."...

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness..."

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

So it appears that this nation was founded under God, as the signers of the Declaration of Independence so stated.

The only thing I would do to change it, is wherever the words appear; in our court rooms, on our money, wherever they appear, I would put them in bold print to remind us every day who has been watching over this great democracy called America.

On December 8, 1941 the morning after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed the nation. The last four words of his address after he called for a united spirit to defeat our enemies were, "so help us God." His entire address was etched in the WW II memorial in Washington, DC with the exception of those last four words. What a disgrace.

Thirty-one of the most powerful words in America. Why do some like the ACLU want to destroy them.

Please do not let them go away.

God bless America.

And, that is my opinion.

Michael Solomon

Author of 'Where Did My America Go?"


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