Message by John McCain about the Pledge

  1. 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 Allegiance" - Senator John McCain

    As you may know, I spent five and one half years as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War. In the early years of our imprisonment, the NVA kept us in solitary confinement or two or three to a cell. In 1971 the NVA moved us from these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to a room.

    This was,as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct result of the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POWs 10,000 miles from home.

    One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike Christian. Mike came from a small town near Selma, Alabama. He didn't wear a pair of shoes until he was 13 years old. At 17, he enlisted in the US Navy. He later earned a commission by going to Officer Training School. Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and captured in 1967.

    Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the opportunities this country and our military provide for people who want to work and want to succeed.

    As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners to receive packages from home. In some of these packages were handkerchiefs, scarves and other items of clothing.

    Mike got himself a bamboo needle. Over a period of a couple of months, he created an American flag and sewed it on the inside of his shirt.

    Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike's shirt on the wall of the cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance.

    I know the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most

    One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically,and discovered Mike's shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it.

    That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and for the benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian severely for the next couple of hours. Then, they opened the door of the cell and threw him in. We cleaned him up as well as we could..

    The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on which we slept. Four naked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room.

    As I said, we tried to clean up Mike as well as we could. After the excitement died down, I looked in the corner of the room, and sitting there beneath that dim light bulb with a piece of red cloth, another shirt and his bamboo needle, was my friend, Mike Christian. He was sitting there with his eyes almost shut from the beating he had received, making another American flag. He was not making the flag because it made Mike Christian feel better. He was making that flag because he knew how

    So the next time you say the Pledge of Allegiance,you must never forget the sacrifice and courage that thousands of Americans have made to build our nation and promote freedom around the world.

    You must remember our duty, our honor, and our country

    "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible,with liberty and justice for all."
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  2. 57 Comments

  3. by   pickledpepperRN
    We are not pledging to cloth, we pledge to an ideal of liberty and justice for all, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the Bill of Rights.
  4. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from spacenurse
    We are not pledging to cloth, we pledge to an ideal of liberty and justice for all, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the Bill of Rights.
    Which the flag symbolizes . . .

    steph
  5. by   Spidey's mom
    "Senator McCain delivered versions of the anecdote quoted above-the tale of Mike Christian, a Navy navigator who had been shot down in Vietnam six months before McCain and who used a bamboo needle and scraps of colored cloth to sew an American flag inside his shirt-several times at speeches given along the campaign trail during 1999-2000, often bringing large crowds to a hush with his story of one prisoner's patriotism. McCain also related this tale in the History Channel's "Prisoners of War: Code of Conduct" series."

    http://www.snopes.com/rumors/mccain.htm

    steph
  6. by   pickledpepperRN
    Quote from stevielynn
    Which the flag symbolizes . . .

    steph
    Exactly!
    We are human.

    I heard Senator Me Cain tell thay story a few years ago. My memory seems to think it was during the 2000 primary on C- SPAN.

    I have stood beside people who quietly did not pledge. They said it would seem disrespectful to Ireland, Mexico, or their country of citizenship. One was a fine traveling nurse who has returned to her country after a 2 year adventure kindly caring for patients in the USA. Others do not because we don't live up to those ideals.

    I proudly salute the flag.
    To me we need to work to help our country acheive those ideals symbolized by the flag.
    Last edit by pickledpepperRN on Apr 4, '04
  7. by   NursesRmofun
    Under God works for me....However, I know there others that do not believe in God. It seems to come down to what some want and are others forced to have to go along with that? What I want shouldn't be forced on others is what I am saying. Even if I believe I am right.
  8. by   fergus51
    I just don't see what the big deal is either way (under God or no under God). No one is banning the pledge from being recited, the only question is should it be in school?
  9. by   NursesRmofun
    Quote from fergus51
    I just don't see what the big deal is either way (under God or no under God). No one is banning the pledge from being recited, the only question is should it be in school?
    Sorry if I am misinformed, but I thought they didn't want it in schools because of the God part.
  10. by   fergus51
    Quote from NursesRmofun
    Sorry if I am misinformed, but I thought they didn't want it in schools because of the God part.
    Yes, I just don't see what the big deal is. I don't know why they care if it is recited in school. In the grand scheme of things I don't see why it's so important to eliminate it from public life

    and

    I don't know why other people think it's so important that it IS recited in school. If you want to recite the pledge with your kids 1000 times everyday no one is stopping you and I don't see why the public school system needs to be responsible for that. I care more about them teaching writing, grammar, math, etc.
  11. by   movealong
    Quote from fergus51
    I just don't see what the big deal is either way (under God or no under God). No one is banning the pledge from being recited, the only question is should it be in school?
    I'm with you. Sorry, but of all the problems we face in today's world, this issue just doesn't rank with the highest for me. I think some issues are getting so much attention because they get people's emotions worked up.
  12. by   MellowOne
    Quote from NursesRmofun
    Sorry if I am misinformed, but I thought they didn't want it in schools because of the God part.
    Who is "they"?

    Be well...

    The Mellow One
  13. by   MellowOne
    Quote from fergus51
    I don't know why other people think it's so important that it IS recited in school. If you want to recite the pledge with your kids 1000 times everyday no one is stopping you and I don't see why the public school system needs to be responsible for that. I care more about them teaching writing, grammar, math, etc.
    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
  14. by   bluesky
    Quote from spacenurse
    We are not pledging to cloth, we pledge to an ideal of liberty and justice for all, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the Bill of Rights.
    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.

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