The Pledge is an opportunity to show respect for our veterans

Skylar Whalen, Writer

Every morning, when the Pledge is recited on the announcements, many use this as a time to show respect for those who made it possible and make it possible to have an education in the first place. 

Some schools’ students are trying to take this away from their peers. One student journalist from Wildwood, Missouri wrote for his school newspaper and explained that more than half of his class refused to stand for the Pledge. In his article, he asked his peers to recognize the importance of standing as a sign of respect. Why are we taking away this symbol of all the blood shed for us to be living in this independent country?

Many living in the United States have someone in their family who fought in the armed forces. According to the Veterans Census Bureau, seven percent of adult Americans were veterans in 2018. 

My grandfather is an Air Force veteran, my uncle is a Navy veteran, and my great-grandfathers from different sides of the family were in the military and fought in a few wars as well. 

There have been both men and women that have fought for and died for this country so that we can be here. So that we can be a country of our own. So that people can even question whether or not they want to stand for the Pledge. So that I can even be here, freely writing at my desk. 

Some may claim that it isn’t necessary for service women and men to travel and fight for our country. This is incorrect. Many don’t understand why people fight for this country. They fight in these wars to protect our rights when they are in situations that may endanger them. When other countries want to take away these rights, we have men and women who risk their lives for our own lives. Even in wars where our personal freedoms weren’t directly connected, our veterans risked their lives to fulfill their duty for our country.

When someone’s voice is heard reciting the Pledge or singing the National Anthem, it shows great regard for the veterans who made it possible for them to be there, as well as the soldiers who cannot be here today. It is a significant way to show our highest appreciation for those heroes. Maybe it is even your ancestors, father, mother, sisters, or brothers — those who made it possible to have freedom and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The least that we can do is give them respect for the things those people have gone through and witnessed — the things that they sacrificed for the future of all of us. 

I don’t know how I would handle what some veterans have witnessed and continue to witness on an every-day basis. Many service women and men today go through unimaginable trials to keep us safe. Shouldn’t show respect for these heroes? Of course. 

The Pledge is not a symbol for politics but a symbol for the rights that we hold, the country we live in, and the honor of our Armed Forces and what they fought for.

We are able to live our lives seemingly carefree while our soldiers work and fight in dangerous parts of the world. We don’t witness the tragedies our veterans have (at least not to the extent they did or currently do), and because of this, we don’t appreciate their sacrifices like we ought to. Furthermore, they often willingly risk their lives so that we don’t have to witness the devastation they face every day. 

Standing for the Pledge gives respect to those who made it possible for us to stand there, in that spot, where some members of our armed forces can’t anymore. Give some decency to those who have been through hell and back — for us. I know that my family members and others that are veterans would feel disrespected by those who don’t stand for the pledge. There are others online who have voiced their concern as far as disrespect goes.