Message by John McCain about the Pledge - page 2

In light of the recent appeals court ruling in California, with respect to the Pledge of Allegiance, the following recollection from Senator John McCain is very appropriate:. "The Pledge of... Read More

  1. by   Dplear
    McCain was not in that particular cell in the Hanoi Hilton. This is the story of that particular flag. This man was in that cell with Mike. He also spent over 6 years in that prison. You ought to hear what this guy thinks of Mccain...
    ------------------------------------
    Honoring the American Flag

    Condensed from a speech by Leo K. Thorsness,
    recipient of The Congressional Medal of Honor.



    You've probably seen the bumper sticker somewhere along the road.
    It depicts an American Flag, accompanied by the words
    "These colors don't run."
    I'm always glad to see this, because it reminds me of an incident
    from my confinement in North Vietnam at the Hao Lo POW Camp,
    or the "Hanoi Hilton," as it became known.
    Then a Major in the U.S. Air Force, I had been captured and imprisoned from 1967-1973.
    Our treatment had been frequently brutal. After three years, however,
    the beatings and torture became less frequent.
    During the last year, we were allowed outside most days for a couple of minutes to bathe.
    We showered by drawing water from a concrete tank with a homemade bucket.
    One day as we all stood by the tank, stripped of our clothes, a young Naval pilot named
    Mike Christian found the remnants of a handkerchief in a gutter that ran under the prison wall.
    Mike managed to sneak the grimy rag into our cell and began fashioning it into a flag.



    Over time we all loaned him a little soap, and he spent days cleaning the material.
    We helped by scrounging and stealing bits and pieces of anything he could use.
    At night, under his mosquito net, Mike worked on the flag.
    He made red and blue from ground-up roof tiles and tiny
    amounts of ink and painted the colors onto the cloth with watery rice glue.
    Using thread from his own blanket and a homemade bamboo needle,
    he sewed on the stars.


    Early in the morning a few days later, when the guards were not alert,
    he whispered loudly from the back of our cell, "Hey gang, look here.
    " He proudly held up this tattered piece of cloth, waving it as if in a breeze.
    If you used your imagination, you could tell it was supposed to be an American flag.
    When he raised that smudgy fabric, we automatically stood straight and saluted,
    our chests puffing out, and more than a few eyes had tears.



    About once a week the guards would strip us, run us outside and go through our clothing.
    During one of those shakedowns, they found Mike's flag. We all knew what would happen.
    That night they came for him. Night interrogations were always the worst.
    They opened the cell door and pulled Mike out. We could hear the beginning of the
    torture before they even had him in the torture cell. They beat him most of the night.



    About daylight they pushed what was left of him back through the cell door.
    He was badly broken; even his voice was gone. Within two weeks, despite the danger,
    Mike scrounged another piece of cloth and began another flag.
    The Stars and Stripes, our national symbol, was worth the sacrifice to him.



    Now whenever I see the flag,
    I think of Mike and the morning he first waved that tattered emblem of a nation.
    It was then, thousands of miles from home in a lonely prison cell,
    that he showed us what it is to be truly free.

    ----------------------------


    Dave
  2. by   Rustyhammer
    Quote from NursesRmofun
    Sorry if I am misinformed, but I thought they didn't want it in schools because of the God part.
    I'm not sure who "they" are either but as a father of athiest kids I know we have discussed the pledge before. They asked me if they should say it or not. I've told them to do as they feel is best for them but it's a good thing to be proud of their country and patriotism is important.
    I think they just hush during the "under god" part.
    Although I don't think we should have the "under god" as part of the pledge, some battles aren't worth all the energy.
    -Russell
  3. by   fergus51
    Quote from MellowOne
    One of the most important things that schools should do, along with teaching basic adacemics, is to teach citizenship and civic duty. Being an American has a great many rights and priviledges, but it also comes with responsibilities. The Pledge is an important part of this.

    In an era in which moral standards and character building have leaked out of many public schools in the name of sensitivity, trying to remove a pledge that simply says that one will be loyal to his nation is seen by many as a move to remove another yet another civic standard.

    According to an MSNBC article, nearly 9 in 10 people want the pledge to stay as is.

    Be well...

    The Mellow One
    I just think that implies that those who object to the pledge are somehow less American. I don't think that's true and think that if you want your kids to grow up with character that's your job. I don't see why the school is responsible for raising children. My parents instilled morals in me without a pledge at school.
  4. by   FranEMTnurse
    Quote from Dplear
    McCain was not in that particular cell in the Hanoi Hilton. This is the story of that particular flag. This man was in that cell with Mike. He also spent over 6 years in that prison. You ought to hear what this guy thinks of Mccain...
    ------------------------------------
    Honoring the American Flag

    Condensed from a speech by Leo K. Thorsness,
    recipient of The Congressional Medal of Honor.



    You've probably seen the bumper sticker somewhere along the road.
    It depicts an American Flag, accompanied by the words
    "These colors don't run."
    I'm always glad to see this, because it reminds me of an incident
    from my confinement in North Vietnam at the Hao Lo POW Camp,
    or the "Hanoi Hilton," as it became known.
    Then a Major in the U.S. Air Force, I had been captured and imprisoned from 1967-1973.
    Our treatment had been frequently brutal. After three years, however,
    the beatings and torture became less frequent.
    During the last year, we were allowed outside most days for a couple of minutes to bathe.
    We showered by drawing water from a concrete tank with a homemade bucket.
    One day as we all stood by the tank, stripped of our clothes, a young Naval pilot named
    Mike Christian found the remnants of a handkerchief in a gutter that ran under the prison wall.
    Mike managed to sneak the grimy rag into our cell and began fashioning it into a flag.



    Over time we all loaned him a little soap, and he spent days cleaning the material.
    We helped by scrounging and stealing bits and pieces of anything he could use.
    At night, under his mosquito net, Mike worked on the flag.
    He made red and blue from ground-up roof tiles and tiny
    amounts of ink and painted the colors onto the cloth with watery rice glue.
    Using thread from his own blanket and a homemade bamboo needle,
    he sewed on the stars.


    Early in the morning a few days later, when the guards were not alert,
    he whispered loudly from the back of our cell, "Hey gang, look here.
    " He proudly held up this tattered piece of cloth, waving it as if in a breeze.
    If you used your imagination, you could tell it was supposed to be an American flag.
    When he raised that smudgy fabric, we automatically stood straight and saluted,
    our chests puffing out, and more than a few eyes had tears.



    About once a week the guards would strip us, run us outside and go through our clothing.
    During one of those shakedowns, they found Mike's flag. We all knew what would happen.
    That night they came for him. Night interrogations were always the worst.
    They opened the cell door and pulled Mike out. We could hear the beginning of the
    torture before they even had him in the torture cell. They beat him most of the night.



    About daylight they pushed what was left of him back through the cell door.
    He was badly broken; even his voice was gone. Within two weeks, despite the danger,
    Mike scrounged another piece of cloth and began another flag.
    The Stars and Stripes, our national symbol, was worth the sacrifice to him.



    Now whenever I see the flag,
    I think of Mike and the morning he first waved that tattered emblem of a nation.
    It was then, thousands of miles from home in a lonely prison cell,
    that he showed us what it is to be truly free.

    ----------------------------


    Dave
    Mike was an excellent representation of what it means to lay down one's life for his country. What an American! He deserved the Congressional Medal of Honor. I hope he got it.
  5. by   FranEMTnurse
    Quote from fergus51
    I just think that implies that those who object to the pledge are somehow less American. I don't think that's true and think that if you want your kids to grow up with character that's your job. I don't see why the school is responsible for raising children. My parents instilled morals in me without a pledge at school.
    I agree with you 100% on this fergus. You said a mouthful, my friend. Morality and integrity definitely do belong in the home, and the kids look up to their parents to provide it by being a living example of it. It is how I raised both of mine, and they both are professionals, and parents who are carrying on those traditions.
  6. by   NursesRmofun
    Quote from mellowone
    who is "they"?

    be well...

    the mellow one
    i was referring to the people who do not want the pledge in schools in the sentence below:

    originally posted by nursesrmofun
    sorry if i am misinformed, but i thought they didn't want it in schools because of the god part.
  7. by   NursesRmofun
    Quote from rustyhammer
    i'm not sure who "they" are either but as a father of athiest kids i know we have discussed the pledge before. they asked me if they should say it or not. i've told them to do as they feel is best for them but it's a good thing to be proud of their country and patriotism is important.
    i think they just hush during the "under god" part.
    although i don't think we should have the "under god" as part of the pledge, some battles aren't worth all the energy.
    -russell
    i just explained who they were, so please see my previous explanation. it was a sequence of posted messages that were in an exchange with another poster. i thought it would be read in a sequence by those reading it. i believed it would be understood at the time, so i kept it simple.
    as for your views, i can certainly understand what you are saying about it not being worth the battle. since i believe in god, it is not my battle at all. the point i was trying to make is that some athiests do think it is important, apparently.
  8. by   MellowOne
    Quote from Frances LeMay
    I agree with you 100% on this fergus. You said a mouthful, my friend. Morality and integrity definitely do belong in the home, and the kids look up to their parents to provide it by being a living example of it. It is how I raised both of mine, and they both are professionals, and parents who are carrying on those traditions.
    So, are you folks saying that morality and character building don't belong in the schools? Please tell me that you're not part of the crowd that says, "Well, so who's morals do we teach?" in an effort to have character building taken out of the schools.

    Elementary school children spend as many or more waking hours during the week at school than they do at home. Schools need to instill basic societal mores such as honesty, self-discipline, self-control, and courtesy toward others. Another basic more to be taught is civic duty to country, and honoring those who have died that our Republic can stay free.

    If you have a problem with that, well....

    Be well...

    The Mellow One
  9. by   fergus51
    Quote from MellowOne
    So, are you folks saying that morality and character building don't belong in the schools? Please tell me that you're not part of the crowd that says, "Well, so who's morals do we teach?" in an effort to have character building taken out of the schools.

    Elementary school children spend as many or more waking hours during the week at school than they do at home. Schools need to instill basic societal mores such as honesty, self-discipline, self-control, and courtesy toward others. Another basic more to be taught is civic duty to country, and honoring those who have died that our Republic can stay free.

    If you have a problem with that, well....

    Be well...

    The Mellow One
    I think schools teach basics like how to behave and get along with others in order to maintain order in a classroom so they can focus on educating children in science, math, etc. I don't think they need to teach patriotism. Do you think civic duty and honoring those who have died would just stop if the pledge wasn't recited at school? If that's the case, then I think it's the parents' responsibility, not the teachers. If a parent can't instill morality in their kids in the time they spend with them, they shouldn't be parents. It's time to stop shirking that duty to the school.
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from bluesky
    I support my country when it acts in manner that reflects these values. I work my arse off to pay taxes to keep this government going and support my family. This nation survives because of of my labor and that of countless others. I don't OWE it unconditional love, or my son's life just because I was born here.
    To me the pledge of allegiance is a tool of indoctrination, burried in the subconscious by force of repetition.
    My love for my country is something difficult to explain.
    It IS my country as my family is my family.
    Do I love my family? YES.
    Do I always approve of their actions? No.

    Our Constitution once did not respect women enough to allow us to vote. When I was a kid I clearly remember towns where I could not drink at certain fountains or even go inside to eat.

    Just as when my kids or siblings behave unkindly I feel we a citizens have an obligation to do our part to change the wrong our country does.
    At minimum we can vote and write letters to elected officials and the newspapers.
    There are many actions of this government I think are plain wrong.
    I am glad your child does not have to be drafted into the service.
    WE THE PEOPLE must at least try! Staying angry without action does more harm than good.

    Just my opinion.
  11. by   MellowOne
    Quote from fergus51
    I think schools teach basics like how to behave and get along with others in order to maintain order in a classroom so they can focus on educating children in science, math, etc. I don't think they need to teach patriotism. Do you think civic duty and honoring those who have died would just stop if the pledge wasn't recited at school? If that's the case, then I think it's the parents' responsibility, not the teachers. If a parent can't instill morality in their kids in the time they spend with them, they shouldn't be parents. It's time to stop shirking that duty to the school.
    Your reasoning is faulty. It amounts to: The parents should instill morality, thus the schools should not.

    Given that many children are latchkey kids, and a significant number of children are being raised by single parents (mostly mothers) who work to support the child, to not have the school instill morals is simply a derilection of duty on the part of the school.

    Note also that 70-80% of African-American children are born to single mothers. With this in mind, for the schools not to engage in character building would be to put minority children at a greater disadvantage. Children learn a great deal of their social skills in schools.

    Yes, civic duty and duty to country are a part of character building. The Pledge is a part, albeit a small part, of that.

    Be well...

    The Mellow One
  12. by   fergus51
    Ummm, no. My reasonning is that schools are designed for a specific purpose and indoctrinating children with patriotic slogans in the name of instilling morals is not one of them. Schools have their role, but they are not there so that parents can shirk the responsibility they assumed when they chose to procreate.

    I don't understand how conservatives can always be saying that the government should stay out of our lives and then say only the government can instill the proper morals into our young people. Believe it or not, even a black single mother is able to instill morals in her child. Arguing that she is incapable of doing so is just insulting. Being single and/or being black do not mean one is without the resources they need to raise a child with morals and character.
    Last edit by fergus51 on Apr 6, '04
  13. by   MellowOne
    Quote from fergus51
    I don't understand how conservatives can always be saying that the government should stay out of our lives and then say only the government can instill the proper morals into our young people. Believe it or not, even a black single mother is able to instill morals in her child. Arguing that she is incapable of doing so is just insulting. Being single and/or being black do not mean one is without the resources they need to raise a child with morals and character.
    Uh, no... Nobody is saying that "only" the government can instill proper morals. What we're saying is that schools are where children learn the majority of their social skills, and is where they spend the majority of their waking hours during the week. For schools to NOT have some part in character building is simply stupid.

    Also, nobody stated that a black single mother is "incapable" of instilling morals in her child. However, if you look at the widely available data concerning the children of single mothers, you'll find that they are at a far far higher risk of dropping out of school, arrest, conviction, drug abuse, alcoholism, and prison. While many single mothers of all races are absolutely tireless in seeing to the character building of their children, many more are not.

    When you throw into the mix that up to and over 80% of black children are born to single mothers, many of whom are not financially or emotionally prepared to raise a child, you set yourself up for an entire generation of children ill-prepared to face life. The KKK couldn't come up with a better way to hurt black America than to have schools deny the responsibility of helping stretched and stressed single parents with character building.

    The purpose of schools is to help kids prepare for the challenges that come with life. A child without self-discipline, self-control, respect for the rights of others, and a sense of civic duty is a child that will not succeed in life. It IS a part of a school's job to assist parents in developing these qualities in their students.

    Be well...

    The Mellow One

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