Last month, while attending the monthly meeting of the Kentucky River Area Development District (KRADD), I experienced something that I hadn’t in almost 10 years. Before the meeting started, KRADD Chairman James W. Craft, mayor of Whitesburg, asked all in attendance to please stand for the “Pledge of Allegiance.”
I had seen this written as part of the agenda for the meeting, and it is something that happens at every KRADD meeting. I’m not going to try to sugarcoat my reaction upon realizing I would have to stand and recite something I hadn’t thought of since elementary school — I even rolled my eyes after reading the agenda.
When I actually stood and began reciting, I was shocked to have a sense of, well I wouldn’t call it pride, but something closer to nostalgia came over me. Remembering saying this same pledge many times in school and recalling why it is we say it, all in the 30 seconds it took to recite.
I’m sure not everyone in the room felt the same way. I would be surprised if most didn’t feel something, though, the first time they had to stand for the pledge at the meetings.
I’m not calling for action to have the pledge recited at every meeting from the city council to PTAs or that it should be reintegrated into the public schools, and I’m not trying to be an uber-patriot either after saying the “Pledge of Allegiance” once in the last 10 years. What I am trying to do is call attention to the fact that such a small thing as having to stand up and recite the “Pledge of Allegiance” at a random meeting out of the many I report on during the month was refreshing and really opened my eyes.
For someone who is too busy with life to see the forest for the trees, it was nice to stop and be reminded of something that does unify us as a people, no matter how trivial it may seem.