The school-wide announcements ended, and students in my classroom stood to say the pledge. Having been taught that pledging allegiance is serious business, no students attempted to finish yesterday’s math homework or sharpen a pencil during this time. Instead they looked steadily at the flag.
As I was placing the attendance sheet outside my doorway, several of my students came running down the hall on their way back from returning our class’s library books. Not wanting them to distract the other students, I said, “Just stay there and say the pledge.”
They stopped and (out of habit), looked for the flag, but couldn’t see one in the hallway.
Realizing there was no flag there, one of them asked, “But, Mrs. Miller, where will we look?”
I replied, “Look in your hearts.”
Expressions of surprise and then understanding spread over their faces as they stood in the corridor visualizing the red, white, and blue and pledging their allegiance to the land that they love. I think they understood the pledge a little bit better that day.
Veteran’s Day is the perfect time to teach your students what it means to pledge allegiance to the flag. Since many kids have no idea what they are really saying, we should take the time to teach them. Veterans have made so many sacrifices on our behalf. Teaching the next generation what it means to pledge allegiance through our words and actions honors veterans today and in the future.