THIS IS POWERFUL..... A TRUE STORY
In light of the recent appeals court
ruling in California , with respect to the Pledge of Allegiance,
the following recollection from Senator John McCain is very appropriate:
of Allegiance" - by Senator John McCain
As you may know, I spent five and
one half years as a prisoner of war during theVietnam War. In
the early years of our imprisonment, the NVA kept us in solitary
confinement two or three to a cell. In 1971 the NVA moved us from
these conditions of isolation into large rooms with as many as
30 to 40 men to a room.
This was, as you can imagine, a
wonderful change and was a direct result of the efforts of millions
of Americans on behalf of a few hundred POW's 10,000 miles from
One of the men who moved into my
room was a young man named Mike Christian.
Mike came from a small town near
Selma , Alabama He didn't wear a pair of shoes until he was 13
years old. At 17, he enlisted in the US Navy. He later earned
a commission by going to Officer Training School Then he became
a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and captured in 1967.
Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the opportunities this
country and our military provide for people who want to work and
want to succeed.
Of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners
to receive packages from home. In some of these packages were
handkerchiefs, scarves and other items of clothing.
Mike got himself a bamboo needle.
Over a period of a couple of months, he created an American flag
and sewed on the inside of his shirt.
Every afternoon, before we had a
bowl of soup, we would hang Mike's shirt on the wall of the cell
and say the Pledge of Allegiance.
I know the Pledge of Allegiance
may not seem the most important part of our day now, but I can
assure you that in that stark cell it was indeed the most important
and meaningful event.
One day the Vietnamese searched
our cell, as they did periodically, and discovered Mike's shirt
with the flag sewn inside, and removed it.
That evening they returned, opened
Of the cell, and for the benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian
severely for the next couple of hours Then, they opened the door
of the cell and threw him in. We cleaned him up as well as we
The cell in which we lived had a
concrete slab in the middle on which we slept. Four naked light
bulbs hung in each corner of the room.
As I said, we tried to clean up
Mike as well as we could. After the excitement died down, I looked
in the corner of the room, and sitting there beneath that dim
light bulb with a piece of red cloth, another shirt and his bamboo
needle, was my friend, Mike Christian. He was sitting there with
his eyes almost shut from the beating he had received, making
another American flag. He was not making the flag because it made
Mike Christian feel better. He was making that flag because he
knew how important it was to us to be able to Pledge our allegiance
to our flag and country.
So the next time you say the Pledge
Allegiance, you must never forget the sacrifice and courage that
thousands of Americans have made to build our nation and promote
freedom around the world.
You must remember our duty, our
honor, and our country.
"I pledge allegiance to the
flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which
it stands, one nation under
God, indivisible, with liberty and justice
PASS THIS ON... And on... And on!
You can even send it back to me,
I don't mind, because it's worth