The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida on October 9, 1977 · 40
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The Miami Herald from Miami, Florida · 40

Publication:
Location:
Miami, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 9, 1977
Page:
40
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THE MIAMI HERALD Sunday Oct 9 1977 One Nation Under Guard Invisible TFiti Liver Tea sn 4-B bro baas as-ft V By ANNE WILDER S Luck Bureau Chief I see some teachers in Honolulu are shocked and astonished that some ninth graders were unable to write the Pledge of Allegiance correctly There was a story in The Herald the other day about the substitution of “under guard” for “under God” and “in the visible” for “indivisible” As a reporter who must have a dictionary within arm’s reach I sympathize with the misspellings But I wonder whether the results really show the children lack ability or whether they never were told the significance of what they recited each day When did you learn the Pledge of Allegiance? In kindergarten or first grade probably and you learned to stand up straight and face the flag IN THE DIM days when I learned the pledge we just pledged allegiance to our flag We didn’t identify it as the flag of the United States because there it was in the corner of the first-grade room — and what other flag was there to pledge allegiance (whatever that was to anyway? But later the phrase “of the United States of America” was inserted to prevent us I presume from mistakenly pledging allegiance to the hammer and sickle of the Soviet Union For a number of years after I left school I never had the opportunity to recite the Pledge of Allegiance Finally when I again found myself joining in the pledge I discovered the revisions The first was identifying the flag as belonging to the United States of America THE SECOND was that you no longer stretched out your hand on the word flag as we used to do when we started: “I pledge allegiance to the flag (point) and to the republic ” and so forth I also discovered that the pledge no longer went “One nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all” but was revised to “one nation under God Anne Wilder The Herald's bureau chief in St Lucie Countv occasionally offers her personal observations of the uorld around us indivisible with liberty and justice for all” I have found myself galloping on with “indivisible with liberty and justice for all” while the Kiwanians or Rotarians — with whom I hear the pledge most often — were still "under God” I am sure those 111 ninth graders in Honolulu who butchered the pledge when they wrote it out would have been capable of writing the pledge if they understood it MAYBE NOT letter perfect Plenty of adults present company included have to check on the spelling of allegiance and maybe indivisible But a kid who learned the pledge in kindergarten without being told what it means can go on mumbling it for years unaware of its meaning but with the thought that saying it is A Good Thing and means you are Patriotic Rather like a love-of-country mantra I also would bet that if those youngsters had had a teacher who not only had them recite the pledge but discussed what it meant the results of that test would have been different The children would have understood what they were saying misspellings or not That certainly is the point of the pledge WE ALL KNOW how as children there were words and phrases we recited without knowing their meanings In America the Beautiful I always listened eagerly for the phrase “my heart with rapture thrills” It sounded exciting although I didn’t know what rapture meant and had a vague notion that thrills were somehow related to very peaked hills I cannot claim to have interpreted the old gospel hymn title of Gladly the Cross I Bear as an animal story about a cross-eyed bear named Gladly But in my tender years I sang about something called the donzerly light in our national anthem And I was as patriotic as the next kid too I expect that if written tests were given on a lot of oft-repeated phrases we might get some interesting results And I think those ninth graders in Honolulu would have plenty of company in the words-by-rote-without-mean-ing league Automotive Sears “RED CAP” AUTOMOTIVE SPECIALS! 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