Every verse of our Star-Spangled Banner ends with the words; “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” It’s interesting: if you look at the printed words of The Star-Spangled Banner, the first verse ends with a question mark. All subsequent verses end with an exclamation point. An exclamation mark is an indication of strong feeling, whereas a question mark indicates uncertainty. Which punctuation mark should we use today? Do we have strong feelings that America provides freedom for all? Everyone may answer that question differently, which is their God given right. One thing that I believe is that you must be brave to be free!
Many are familiar with certain words of our Pledge of Allegiance and the Declaration of Independence, and yet, have we really pondered them? Are we really one nation, which means out of many we become one? How about being indivisible? Are we incapable of being divided, separated, or broken? Is everyone free from oppression (liberty), and is there justice for all? The Declaration of Independence indicates, “The Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle all to have an equal station.” We are intimate with the words, “We hold these truths to be self- evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with unalienable Rights. These Rights include, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Pledge is defined as a binding commitment, a guarantee, or a promise. Our forefathers pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, and we pledge allegiance when we repeat the words written by George Balch and Francis Bellamy. I encourage all of us to re-evaluate our pledge to those things that bind us together and make us a strong nation and community.
An uncommon portion of the Declaration of Independence states, “Government should have its principles layed to effect safety and happiness.” To illustrate an example of this, I want to relate something that was forwarded from one of our citizens. Recently, our police department was called by one of our local grocery stores regarding a gentleman who had entered the store prior to the store opening. The individual was asked to leave but refused to do so. The police officer noticed there may be a medical issue, so he requested assistance from the paramedics. Upon arrival, the paramedics noted the man’s medical bracelet indicated he had progressive Dementia. After checking his vitals, he was released to his wife who tried to get him into their car. The gentlemen refused to get into the car until he got a Mountain Dew, which was the original reason he went to the store. His wife was frustrated and didn’t quite know what to do. Suddenly, our North Ogden police officer showed up with a bottle of Mountain Dew. Case closed! This officer provided safety and happiness. Thank you!! There are positive things around us which make us one, and truly indivisible. Let’s look for them!