It occurred to me when the Legislative Session began earlier this year, that I hadn’t said the Pledge of Allegiance since I was a young girl. Honestly, speaking the words in that chamber gave me goose bumps.
As a youngster, and even as a teenager and young adult, I never considered myself patriotic. Like most young people, I felt it was my obligation to question all things representing “the man.” It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that some of that began to change in me… I was working for a company that specialized in military reunions, doing photography and art work for the veterans of the various units we covered. I had the honor of photographing one of the first Vietnam Veteran reunions held in Washington DC on year – and I can tell you, that was an experience that has never left me. Very powerful to witness the camaraderie and devotion to country.
Moving forward into the future, I’ve never felt that anything I can ever do in my life could ever compare to that of a veterans, but I realized they deserved my full, undivided and uncompromising devotion to country as they have given. When we hear and say the Pledge of Allegiance, it really means something.
So, when we had a handful of bills that came up in the session that were related to North Dakota’s ability to not exactly secede from the Union, but to certainly move in a direction that could extricate itself as deemed “necessary” by the state, I can tell you that I found this entire premise profoundly upsetting. Still do. We cannot have it both ways. We cannot Pledge Allegiance… in one breathe, while simultaneously setting into motion a series of legislation to arrogantly separate ourselves from that fundamental premise! It’s beyond hypocritical and flies in the face of every veteran who ever served our country. Insulting, dismissive and grossly extreme, we fought hard to get reason inserted back into the debate. We lost that battle, but have every intention of winning the war going forward!
Wanted to share all this on this Memorial Weekend because, at a time when so many human rights are at the forefront of our daily news, it seems important to remind ourselves that it’s not just 21st Century rights on the line… we have some old, tried and true blues on the line as well.
Happy Memorial Weekend all!!