The Pledge of Allegiance
by Red Skelton
I rembember this one teacher. To me he was the greatest teacher, a real sage of my time. He had such wisdom. We were all reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and he walked over. Mr. Lasswell was his name . . . He said:

"I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word:

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 a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody's job.
Of the United -- that means that we have all come together.
States -- individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose, all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that's love for country.
Of America.
And to the Republic
-- a state in which soverign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
For which it stands.
One nation
-- meaning, so blessed by God.
Indivisible -- incapable of being divided.
With liberty -- which is freedom and the right of power to live one's own life without threats or fear or some sort of retaliation.
And justice -- the principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.
For all -- which means it's as much your country as it is mine."

Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance -- "under God." Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer, and that would be eliminated from schools too?

The Unofficial American Flag Home Page - Includes American Flag historical links, Pledge of Allegiance historical link, law governing the use of the flag, U.S. historical documents and other links for reference material.

Attack on America

Support Freedom

by Alexis Reid, Age 14
Texas High School Student
September 13, 2001

Destruction was brought to us this horrible day,
When thousands of lives were taken away.

Every American felt helpless and shocked,
When the twin towers were hit around eight o'clock.

There was no school or work done that day,
People were glued to the TV every which way.

How could this happen was on everyone's mind,
And who could have done this horrible crime?

We also learned that the pentagon had been hit too,
I wondered why and what would we do.

War was the answer was what people said,
But why war when there already are so many dead.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the American way,
But no one felt it this particular day.

Whoever did this is insane and cruel,
They killed so many only to be a fool.

They killed others as well as themselves and it is too sad,
To know they wanted others to die that bad.

And as each jet crashed down,
A sadness was felt from all around.

It didn't matter where you were from,
You were affected, saddened and stunned.

The greed for power has hurt us forever,
But America will be ok if we just work together.

This event is forever burned in America's memory,
Because no one will ever forget that one September week.

There are many ways to remember the date, definitely more than one,
But the way I remember it is September 11th, also known as 9-1-1.

America: The Good Neighbor.

Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:

"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth.

Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped.

The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, armongering Americans.

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, whydon't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes?

Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon -not once, but several times and safely home again.

You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded.

They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.

I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles I hope Canada is not one of those."

Stand proud, America!

Memorial Day Sites
Freedom is not free.

A virtual tour of Arlington National Cemetery complete with photographs of the Kennedy family burial plots, lists of black, Jewish and other minority war heroes at rest in the cemetery and the history of the nation's most hallowed ground.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which sits on an Arlington Cemetery ridge and is the site of the annual national commemoration of Memorial Day.

World War II Commemoration - World War II ended on September 2, 1945 with the formal surrender of Japan aboard the U.S. battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the war, Grolier put together this definitive collection of World War II historical materials on the Web.

During World War II, a select group of young women pilots became pioneers, heroes, and role models...They were the Women Airforce Service Pilots, WASP, the first women in history trained to fly American military aircraft. GO TO WASP on the WEB, a site dedicated to sharing the history of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II, and shining a light on the inspirational stories of their lives before, during and after WWII.

The Korean War, contains information including a Koren War time line, Air War chronology, U.S. forces information, Special Operations information and insignias, recommended reading and a Korean War discussion list.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial takes you to the brooding swath of black stone etched with 58,195 names of those killed in action.

Gulf War - An in-depth look at the Gulf War and the crisis that precipitated it. Includes an oral history, harrowing first hand war stories, weapons and technology. From PBS' Frontline, January 1996.

This site recounts the history of Memorial Day. It originated after the Civil War as "Decoration Day," when the graves of the war dead were decorated with flowers. The end of May apparently was chosen because flowers would be in bloom by that date all over the country.

The number of casualties for each of America's wars are listed here, beginning with the Revolutionary War and ending with the Persian Gulf War. The most expensive-WWII-cost about $15,655 per citizen in 1990 dollars. The least costly was the Mexican War at $52.13 each.