Saturday, June 14, 2008

Flag Day

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

According to the Information Please (2007) web site the original pledge of allegiance was published September 8, 1892, in a Boston publication titled The Youth's Companion. Credit for the writing of the pledge was attributed to both James B. Upham and Francis Bellamy, a member of the magazine's staff. The United States Flag Association determined in 1939 that authorship be given to Bellamy. On June 14, 1954 the phrase "under God" was added to the pledge .

Today on Flag Day, June 14, 2008, at Homestead National Monument there was a Naturalization Ceremony. Over 50 new citizens swore their allegiance to the United States of America. Perhaps President Bush's (2005) statement describes some of the feelings and thoughts our newest citizens may have experienced during this ceremony.

In America's ideal of freedom, citizens find the dignity and security of economic independence instead of laboring on the edge of subsistence. This is the broader definition of liberty that motivated the Homestead Act, the Social Security Act, and the GI Bill of Rights. And now we will extend this vision by reforming great institutions to serve the needs of our time. To give every American a stake in the promise and future of our country, we will bring the highest standards to our schools and build an ownership society. We will widen the ownership of homes and businesses, retirement savings, and health insurance, preparing our people for the challenges of life in a free society. By making every citizen an agent of his or her own destiny, we will give our fellow Americans greater freedom from want and fear and make our society more prosperous and just and equal.

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