To the editor:

Walking to my elementary school during World War II, I passed many homes displaying small service banners in their windows with blue stars representing how many in the family were serving. I had three uncles serving in the Pacific – a Marine, a sailor and one in the Army Air Corps. In some of the windows the stars were gold.

At nine o’clock every morning, our class stood with right hands over our hearts, faced the flag in the corner of the room, and recited the pledge of allegiance to the flag and to the republic. I knew that flag covered the coffins of the fallen, and when folded into a triangle became a treasured heirloom in gold star homes.

This national patriotism prevailed throughout the 1950s when I was honored to serve as a Marine. It occurs to me now that it might begin to bring our country back together if, before sports contests, all the players and the fans were asked to stand, place hands over hearts, and recite the pledge of allegiance before the playing of the national anthem.

Perhaps then more would better understand the freedoms we have been given.


Ron Waggener

Blue Springs