What Veterans' Day Means To Me 
by Kelly Jarrett

Look around at all the people that surround us in everyday life. Many of the people that are in our lives or have an effect on our lives are veterans. Veterans are very special people. They are a select group of individuals who looked deep within themselves and found what the true meaning of freedom meant. Without these people, we could not say "The Pledge of Allegiance."

"What the Pledge of Allegiance Means to Us"
The Pledge of Allegiance is important to us all because in its thirty-five words, it sums up what is means to be an American.

This solemn promise of loyalty was not officially adopted by the United States Congress until 1942. The words "under God" were finally added in 1954. As we review these words together, I hope that all of us will gain new insight into the living the life of a loyal American Veteran.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag..."
While this promise is something that is personal to each of us, it is also something that includes each of us. Our pledge is a public profession to each other of our loyalty to the honored symbol, the flag. Affectionately known as "Old Glory", the flag has represented our country's goals, ideals, ambitions, and sacrifices for over two hundred years.

"...of the United States of America..."
The fifty states joined together voluntarily to insure peace and prosperity for all generations to come. These ideals are embodied within our common language, currency, and government. Throughout our history, the United States has been willing to help others during war, peace, and natural disasters. This generous spirit is possible because we truly are united in our purposes and goals. and to the republic for which it stands... This democracy allows everyone to have a part in the decisions of our government. Our leaders ignore the people at their own peril. The social changes that this country has undergone speaks of the integrity of our people and the strength and flexibility of our government.

"... one nation under God..."
By recognizing God's unfailing authority and His guiding principles, we acknowledge that our successes are due more to His blessings than any amount of hard work on our part. As Paul sets out in Acts 10:35, "But in every nation he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is accepted with Him."

If we are to continue to receive these blessings from God we must remember the words of the psalmist, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom He hath chosen inheritance."

"indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
 These words tell us that as long as we have fairness for all and everyone is treated equally, then freedom will reign. We truly will not be divided one against another. As Abraham Lincoln said, " A house divided against itself shall not stand." Because of his leadership and courage and his unfailing belief in God, our nation faced its most severe challenge to unity.  If we continue to follow Lincoln's example and trust in God, our nation truly will be a nation "of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Thanks to the Veterans who left their families and risked their lives and looked deep within and defined what it means to be free and to be an American.   It is because of them that we can say The Pledge of Allegiance with pride today.


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