When I was in Mrs. Mason’s third grade class, I remember every morning, without fail, we’d say “The Pledge of Allegiance” followed by the singing of our National Anthem.
Commonly referred to as being from the “old school”, Mrs. Mason already had several decades of teaching under her belt before I ever stepped foot inside her classroom. I recall a small, round harmonica she kept in her top desk draw. She’d play a “C” sharp each and every morning to ensure we all started singing in the same key.
Could you imagine this being done in the classrooms of today?
Beyond the reading, writing and arithmetic, Mrs. Mason taught us about respect for life, respect for each other and respect for our country. A dedicated and prolific historian in our community, she instilled in us that life wasn’t always so easy – that the history books couldn’t begin to fully explain the pain and suffering our ancestors had to endure.
In a world filled with gizmos and gadgets designed to make our lives even more effortless, we tend to lose sight of just how much this land has given us with little or nothing in return.
Mrs. Mason passed away many years ago in her late 90’s. She was by far the biggest proponent of America I have ever known in my almost 40 years on this earth. She was a truly inspiring woman and felt it her duty to make sure that every class she taught fully understood what patriotism was all about and why it was so important to the survival of America.
I wonder what she’d have to say about an article I stumbled across recently. From northjersey.com:
“A Monmouth County family is suing a New Jersey school district, alleging that the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance is discriminatory because it asks students to pledge “under God.”
The family, represented by the American Humanist Association, claims that the daily pledge discriminates against atheists and violates the right to equal protection under the state Constitution. The association works to make sure atheists are treated equally in society.”
(shaking my head in disbelief)
I offer the following from author Lynne Truss for those feeling offended enough to take legal action against a New Jersey school district:
“Offence is so easily given. And where the ‘minority’ issue is involved, the rules seem to shift about: most of the time a person who is female/black/disabled/gay wants this not to be their defining characteristic; you are supposed to be blind to it. But then, on other occasions, you are supposed to observe special sensitivity, or show special respect.”
Definitely makes you think doesn’t it?
― Lynne Truss, Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door