The U.S. Senate recently joined the U.S. House in conducting the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag before the start of business. Unfortunately, this coincides with a record number of young students in all too many schools (often egged on by the so-called American Civil Liberties Union) who are refusing to stand for the Pledge.
We hope principals and teachers -- backed by school boards -- are counseling and educating those students who show disrespect to Old Glory, that courageous men and women fought and died for a banner that symbolizes what's in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and, yes, the Pledge of Allegiance.
In this connection, the Rev. Richard Kremer, senior pastor of St John's Baptist Church in Charlotte, speaks to the meaning of Independence Day:
"In truth, no one knows the depraved nature of war and violence better than our veterans.
"It is our flabby contemporary age, generations removed from armed conflict, which delights in computer games of mayhem, suburban kids of comfort who fancy themselves as military survivalists and consider automatic weapons `cool.' Those who have seen and known real violence know what hell on earth humanity can create, and it is no coincidence that among the first commitments many young men and women made upon returning from war was to become active in a faithful congregation that they might work for...peace.
"This July 4 may we come to honor those who remind us that all good things are dearly won, that the earthly liberties that we enjoy have been gained through intense sacrifice, even as our spiritual liberty has been secured through the absolute self-giving of our God. May...the sharing of stories of honor and altruism amidst circumstances of war serve as parables that elicit from us a commensurate commitment to create conditions for peace."
What a wonderful sentiment on what should be a day of reflection.