Pledge of Allegiance: A Tough Promise to Live Up to

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Kailee Abendroth (she/they) 11th Grade, Chief Editor

It’s a few minutes into second period at Mariner High School when the intercom turns on and the MCs ask the student body to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance along with them to kick off the morning announcements. More often than not, the classrooms will remain silent. In a poll ran here on the Mariner Compass, out of 111 participants only 23% of people stand for the pledge. Many students have their own strong beliefs and reasons for not participating in this tradition.

“…I think the pledge has lost its importance if it ever really had any in the first place,” MHS Junior Brianna Jourdan says, “The values held when it was created versus now are so different, making it generally outdated.” The pledge was originated in 1852 on the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ journey to America.

While it has been updated slightly in 1954 when the phrase “under God” was added. This line has been controversial. “Not everyone believes in the Christian God that they are talking about,” Jourdan says, “Some people aren’t even religious so I don’t think that line should be included.” This line was added by congress because they wanted to put out a clear statement against the “atheistic Soviet Union”  after World War II, a time when patriotism was at an all-time high.

“I think it used to hold more importance back then, when it was first created,” MHS Senior Christy Li says, “when alliances were extremely important.”

When it comes to veterans, many feel it’s disrespectful to not stand for the pledge. “When I think about the pledge and standing for it, I think of my family members who are in the military,” Junior Aurora Albright says. “I feel like it’d be respectful to them if I did it.”

The main reason that the pledge is recited every morning is to instill a sense of patriotism into students. “Sometimes I don’t [stand] and I feel kinda ashamed,” Albright said she goes back and forth with whether or not she should stand because she doesn’t believe that there is justice for all but when it comes to her family there’s an inner conflict.

Many agree with Albright when she says doesn’t believe the pledge lives up to what it promises, therefore they don’t stand. “It’s kind of a silent protest,” Li says, “…I would rather see the pledges’ words be true to itself rather than just hearing or saying words that no longer hold meaning.” Li isn’t alone when she says she doesn’t believe that America is living up to what the pledge promises.

Although that doesn’t mean that it’s a lost cause, Li hopes for a true change in our country.

“I think that one day it [the pledge] will [be true] when we finally figure out how to work with each other rather than against each other.”