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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Celebration of a Great Nation

The other day, I received an email from the American Chuck Wagon Association that shared "The Pledge of Allegiance" as we approach the 4th of July celebration. While not all of our readers or friends are Americans, I want to thank our allies who always helped to support our liberties and freedom. I would like to extend some additional information about the Pledge of Allegiance that was not shared in that email, but I feel shares some value of interest. 
The original "Pledge of Allegiance" was published in the September 8 issue of the popular children's magazine The Youth's Companion as part of the National Public-School Celebration of Columbus Day, a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas. The event was conceived and promoted by James B. Upham, a marketer for the magazine, as a campaign to instill the idea of American nationalism by selling flags to public schools and magazines to students.
According to author Margarette S. Miller this was in line with Upham's vision which he "would often say to his wife: 'Mary, if I can instill into the minds of our American youth a love for their country and the principles on which it was founded, and create in them an ambition to carry on with the ideals which the early founders wrote into the Constitution, I shall not have lived in vain. 
In America, we often believe of our democratic democracy though the pledge was written by a Baptist minister an Christian socialist named Francis Bellamy in 1892. Bellamy (1855–1931), and Upham had lined up the National Education Association to support the "Youth's Companion" as a sponsor of the Columbus Day observance along with the use of the American flag. By June 29, 1892, Bellamy and Upham had arranged for Congress and President Benjamin Harrison to announce a proclamation making the public school flag ceremony the center of the Columbus Day celebrations (this was issued as Presidential Proclamation 335). Subsequently, the Pledge was first used in public schools on October 12, 1892, during Columbus Day observances organized to coincide with the opening of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. 
In Francis Bellamy's recollection of the creation of the Pledge, he recalled "At the beginning of the nineties patriotism and national feeling was at a low ebb. The patriotic ardor of the Civil War was an old story...The time was ripe for a reawakening of simple Americanism and the leaders in the new movement rightly felt that patriotic education should begin in the public schools." James Upham "felt that a flag should be on every schoolhouse", so the publication "fostered a plan of selling flags to schools through the children themselves at cost, which was so successful that 25,000 schools acquired flags in 1 year."
I too have lived in this country during times of both great patriotism and during times of great lows were brothers argue politics, religion among other things. However, seeing much of the world, I have always viewed the United States as such a great place and our flag has always provided me with comfort, hope and pride. I have learned to love the world, to believe in "We the people" and shall never forget our forefathers who built the foundation of this great nation. 
In 1892, Bellamy wrote the pledge "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Today, it has since been changed, amended often with held with controversy or criticism. However, regardless of what country one is born, we should be proud of our land and set example world wide. For that, my homeland is America and I now share my pledge, 
"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." 
God Bless the USA and all of our friends world wide. May your 4th of July be shared with world peace, wonderful outdoor cooking, family and friends and remember all those around the world who have protected our freedoms in the past, in present and in our future. Have a Happy 4th of July, as Americans celebrate our Independence Day.
 Photos include John Boyd's chuckwagon top and Bill White's chuckwagon directly above:

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