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Are you a patriot?

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.

Each day in grade school we started with our hands over our hearts, bodies and faces toward the door where the flag was prominently displayed, and together recited the words we knew by heart.

Sure, when we were that young, we often fidgeted and stood on one foot and then another, and couldn’t wait to be done to tell our desk mates our plans for recess. We were all so different from each other.

And yet the same.

But each day we had the clear reminder of just what a privilege it is for each of us as unique individuals to live in this country, the land of the free, and in fact a Promised Land. As children we were clearly familiar with what it was to stand together and face the same direction as unified compatriots.

flag2I remember that the big thing to look forward to was when we were in sixth grade when, two by two, we had the responsibility of taking the large American flag out to the pole in the courtyard and in the morning raising it up, and at the end of the lowering it down. Mr. Wiser was our coach and trainer to make sure it was folded correctly and it never touched the ground. We never let our flag be out in rainy or snowy weather.

Again, through sheer repetition and prominent placement in our daily schedule we had no doubt of the importance of our county.

That’s just it, isn’t it? OUR country.

Not just yours, not just mine.

Ours.

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