With Thanksgiving fast approaching and a government that appears to be totally out of control. I thought that I would take a minute to reflect on a television variety show that I use to watch back in the 1960's. Yup, you guessed it, I'm a little older than most of you. In fact I might be older than dirt.
For those of you who are a bit younger and were born after the 1960's, it was a very turbulent time in American history. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, I remember doing Duck and Cover drills in school almost every day. I was old enough to watch the television and I don't think that any of you can appreciate how close to nuclear war we really came. News media at the time were advising people what to look for, where to go for protection and that we would only have but minutes to react. It was not until 15 years later that I learned that the city I lived in was on the list of "ground zero" targets for Russian missiles and still remains as a target to this day.
Then the assassination of JFK, the Vietnam War, and the left wing revolution using the war as a cover was in full swing on almost every major campus and city in the the country.
Anyway, back in the 1960's there used to be a show called the Red Skelton Show. Red Skelton was a comedian in vaudeville and radio and using sentimental clown figure was one of the great mimes. In his show he would also use several different characters that he had developed over his 20+ years in show business. Clem Kadiddlehopper, Freddie the Freeloader, and the Mean Widdle Kid were a few that come to mind. Red use to end every one of his shows, as I remember it, with a soft spoken. "Good Night Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls and May God Bless".
I remember that at the end one of his shows, he reministed about a speech given by one of his teachers. I was reminded of this by a friend of mine who sent it to me the other day and I thought it was fitting time to reprint it prior to this years Thanksgiving holiday.
January 14,1969- Red Skelton-"I remember a teacher I had. Now I only went through the 7th grade. I left home when I was 10 years old because I was hungry. This is true. I'd work in the summer and go to school in the winter. But I has this one teacher, it was the principal of the Harrison school in Vincennes, Indiana.To me, this was the greatest teaher, a real sage of my time anyway. He had such wisdom and we were reciting the Pledge of Allegence" one day and he walked over, Mr. Lasswell was his name."
Mr. Lasswell told his class:
"I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it's becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?"
I (me, an individual, a committee of one.)
Pledge (dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity.)
Allegiance (my love and my devotion.)
To the flag (our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves there's respect because your loyalty has given dignity that shouts freedom is everybody's job!)
United (that means that we have all come together.)
States (individual communities that have united into 48 great states. Forty-eight individual
communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided with
imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that's love for country.)
And to the republic (a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives
chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it's
from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.)
For which it stands, one nation (one nation, meaning "so blessed by God")
Indivisible (incapable of being divided.)
With liberty (which is freedom -- the right of power to live one's own life without threats,
fear or some sort of retaliation.)
And Justice (the principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.)
For all (which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine.)
"Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country and two words have been added to the pledge of Allegiance...
Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer and that would be eliminated from schools too?"
Later in 1969 the US Supreme court outlawed "prayer in school" and the Pledge has been under attack ever since.
Now, more than ever, remember the meaning of these words.
Happy Thanksgiving and May God Bless