Looking ahead to this Wednesday, I’ve been surfing through the internet, reading, and found several items that caught my interest. Several brought back beloved memories of my childhood – one in particular.
As a child, I loved watching the Red Skelton Show each week. He always made me laugh and my family enjoyed sitting together in our living room in a semi-circle around the very small thick-glassed television housed in an upright wooden cabinet with shuttered doors that you could close over the screen when not in use. Of course, all of the shows were in black and white then. But it didn’t matter, because Red could make you laugh – a real belly laugh – simply by being himself or one of his many clown characters – Freddie the Freeloader, Heathcliff and Gertrude, that “spoiled widdle boy”, and my favorite, of course, was Clem Cadiddlehopper.
In reading about Red, I found a reprinting of his commentary on “The Pledge of Allegiance” and thought it was well worth publishing here. As a young schoolboy, one of his teachers sat down one day and explained to the class exactly what those words mean that so many children (and adults!) parrot without realizing the full meaning of what they’re saying. Red was so impressed by it that he wrote it down and saved it, later recording it himself.
The Pledge of Allegiance
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
|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.|
|United||That means that we have all come together.|
|States||Individual communities that have united into forty-eight great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose. All divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that is love for country.|
|And to the Republic||Republic–a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern.|
|For which it stands||And government is the people; and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.|
|One Nation–meaning, so blessed by God.|
|Indivisible||Incapable of being divided.|
|With Liberty||Which is Freedom; the right of power to live one’s own life, without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.|
|And Justice||The principle, or qualities, of dealing fairly with others.|
|For All||For All–which means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.|
You can hear Red for yourself, reciting this commentary here.
And as Red always said at the end of each and every program:
“Good night and may God bless.”