My article is due today but I could not pass the Memorial Day on Monday without talking about one of the most honored days of the year. This past weekend was special all over America as we honored our military heroes who died serving their country. A special Memorial Concert was broadcast on PBS Sunday night. The concert was special as the weather cooperated outside. COVID is not keeping people away from special events and the program was excellent. All wars were represented by those who served and various heroes from World War II to Afghanistan were honored. The music and speakers were very good in their presentations of those honored for their service. All of our Military Branches were presented at the end of the concert. The evening ended with the playing of taps.
I do believe that many have lost the true meaning of Memorial Day, or maybe they have not been taught why Memorial Day is a time of remembrance. Memorial Day is the day to remember our men and women who fought and died to keep freedom alive in the United States of America. Memorial comes from the word memory. When our forefathers decided to set aside a day of remembrance to honor our military men and women they did so by naming the day Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a day in the U.S. set aside to honor the dead of any American war and the date in most states is May 30. Memorial Day is a time of reflection on the sacrifices during the history of America when men and women fought for our country to remain free to worship as we choose, to live as equals, to speak out, to live and work where we choose, to go to school for an education, to share our beliefs and to respect others who believe differently. America is a place where we are free to excel to be the best we can be. November 11th is the day we will remember and honor all who served or are serving in our United States Military.
I want to thank all of the volunteers who put our military banners up at Jawbone. The Walk of Valor displays 704 banners with pictures of our men and women who served in the military. You will recognize many of the military men and women as many of them live or have lived in Upshur County. These military banners will be up through November 11 to be honored on Veterans Day for their service to America. You will be so proud of our local military men and women as you walk the Walk of Valor.
Many of our Pastors have spoken about Memorial Day and how every facet of our country is changing. American history is being changed as we have moved away from celebrating the reasons America was founded. America was founded to be the light of the world to experience what America stood for. America has been called the land of the free, the home of the brave and a land where God reigns. When did this concept change? Why is God no longer good enough to be in our schools, our state houses, our congress and many of our communities. It seems, as though, we have been sleeping and have not been aware that bit by bit, our America is fast losing the focus of why America is so special and different. It is time, we the people, speak out for the America that we cherish before it is too late. America was founded as one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all. Our differences make us who we are and that is why we are called Americans.
We should never lose sight of the fact that Americans of all nationalities, various religions, men and women from all walks of life have served America to preserve our freedoms. They gave the ultimate sacrifice, their lives, to continue what America stands for. It is now time for us to come together as one nation founded on principles that make us a strong nation to promote freedom for all. We need to be a nation that needs to know we were founded to honor God who blesses America. Take time to remember our Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States and to the republic for which it stands. How much longer will the children be allowed to say the pledge? Prayer was taken out of the school in 1963. One person made this happen. Prayer to God needs to be put back in our schools now. We must never take our country for granted. For when we do, we will never again be the land of the free. When we allow others to delete God from our founding, we will be responsible for the consequences. It is time we speak up for America. One voice can make a difference. Many voices can change the world. The changes depend on how dedicated the voices are. Now is the time to make our country the America that shines out to all of the world with hope, love, peace and the belief that as Americans we stand for principles that America was founded on. Pray for America. Pray that our leaders will allow God to once again be recognized as our protector and ask for his guidance in all that we do.
I must end this article with the Pledge of Allegiance spoken by Red Skeleton, who told it through the words of a teacher, Mr. Laswell, who wanted his students to understand the pledge.
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’s respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom and is everybody’s job! Of the United, that means that we have all come together. States, individual communities that have united into 50 great states. When this was written, there were forty-eight states; Fifty individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose, all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet, united to a common purpose, and that’s love of country. And to the republic, a state in which sovereign 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, one nation, meaning “so blessed by God”, Indivisible, incapable of being divided, with liberty, which is freedom-the right power to live one’s 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, boys and girls, 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 it is a prayer and that the pledge would be eliminated from schools too!
God Bless America and God Bless the many men and women who serve their country so we may continue to recite the Pledge of Allegiance!