I heard on the news recently that a child in school was reprimanded for not saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. It was further noted that it’s not required for a child to say the pledge. I take this occasion to offer a more relevant pledge, not directly to a piece of cloth, but to what it represents.

“I freely give my allegiance to the United States of America, as represented by this flag. I honor the lives of the original patriots and to all men and women in service to the country who have sacrificed greatly to help us remain free of oppression, to freely choose how and where we wish to live, to worship as we wish, and to sustain ourselves and our families.

“I understand that this freedom is not free, for it brings responsibilities to ourselves, to each other, to citizen governance at all levels, and to those who cannot help themselves.”

John Picher, Vassalboro

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