Motorcycle to Banff 2008 144It is the birthday of the seasons.  America, it is your special day.  We honor you on the anniversary of your birth.  Each of us is grateful to be a citizen in your great land.

“I pledge allegiance” out of my own thoughtful volition, under no duress or settling for the only option that I have.

“to the flag” as a symbol of the liberty and pursuit of happiness that many have died so that I would have this great privilege

“of the United States of America” where unity is fundamentally protected under our Constitution and Bill of Rights, a people representing every ethnic group in the world, united not because of our differences but because of our common commitment and devotion to freedom

“and to the Republic” to be serviced by our elected officials promoting our values and views, civil servants who know that they are in office because of our citizenship, they represent all who are their constituency, not their own personal political biases

“for which it stands” we are a nation that collectively brings our priority of national exceptionalism without apology, not in arrogance but in joy to live here and to help other people in our world when we are able to do so

“one nation” not just the ruling party, not one person’s personal ideology, not one universally extreme set of values but what all in this nation can say with pride, we are a part of this country

“under God” because there is only One source for natural law that all people can embrace, choose values that work for all, humbly enjoy our pursuits while respecting others, providentially acknowledging our own limitations while trusting by faith for His favor to continue what clearly He began

“indivisible” because unselfish people set aside divisive motives and agendas for the good of the many, demonstrating the best of what man can do for his fellow-man, a strength of united selflessness

“with liberty and justice for all” the pinnacle of our nation’s values and our best effort and means to protect and promote it, no one left out, no one marginalized, everyone given the opportunity to advance their gifts, skills and passions.

This is the allegiance that I pledge to this great nation where I was born, live and serve.  God bless America.  God bless the USA.  Happy Birthday to my Country, land of the free.  This is my country, land that I love.  I’m pledging my allegiance, America!

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography