PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Opinion

Flag Day

By From page A4 | June 13, 2014

Tomorrow is Flag Day. It’s a day for patriotic Americans to hang out their flags in honor of our country.

June 14, 1777, is when the Second Continental Congress adopted the flag that has since added stars until there are 50 now to represent the 50 states that make up this country.

This Saturday also is the 60th anniversary of the addition of the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. Its relation to Flag Day is that President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill Congress passed on Flag Day, June 14, 1954.

“From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty. To anyone who loves America, nothing could be more inspiring than to contemplate this rededication of our youth, on each school morning to our country’s true meaning.”

Eisenhower went on in his statement to worry about communists — “millions, deadened in mind and soul by a materialistic philosophy of life” — and he worried over the prospect of atomic war. “In this somber setting, this law and its effects today have profound meaning. In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful source.”

It was the Knights of Columbus who campaigned for inclusion of the words “under God” to be added to the pledge. In August 1954, Eisenhower wrote a letter to the KOC’s Supreme Knight thanking the Knights for their part in adding the words to the pledge.

“These words will remind Americans that despite our great physical strength we must remain humble. They will help us keep constantly in our minds and hearts the spiritual and moral principles which alone give dignity to man, and upon which our way of life is founded.”

The pledge was originally written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy and published in a youth magazine on the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in America.

So, in advance of Flag Day we bring our readers these well-chosen words delivered on Flag Day. And we also take this time to commemorate the flag to which we pledge allegiance. It is a flag that represents the American Dream.

As Ed Feulner, former president of the Heritage Foundation, and Brian Tracy once co-wrote:

“Consider the phrase ‘the American Dream.’ The words themselves reveal something extraordinary. In all the history of man, there has been only one country with the word ‘dream’ attached to it. There is no French Dream or Russian Dream or Chinese Dream. There is only the American Dream, to which people worldwide aspire and have aspired since our founding. From 194 countries, people have come to America to pursue this dream.

“In America, people care very much who you are. They care little about your background. In America, you can start from anywhere, with or without benefits and advantages from your family, and make your own way and your own life. At any time, you can decide to change and do something completely different. Your life is yours to chart.

“In my opinion, this freedom to define your own destiny ultimately derives from the Judeo-Christian tradition. God created us in His own image, and just as God is free, so we are meant for freedom.”

“Government’s purpose is not to impose some elite-inspired vision of the good society on the rest of us, but to empower men and women to use their God-given freedom as they choose.”

And so, on Flag Day we celebrate our freedom and the relationship of both to the Pledge of Allegiance …”with liberty and justice for all.”

Mountain Democrat

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