For those who grew up in the United States, one of the very first things you ever learned at school was the Pledge of Allegiance. Written by Francis Bellamy in 1892 and adopted by U.S. Congress in 1945, the words “under God” were added less than 10 years later under President Eisenhower.
Red Skelton, one of America's best loved Comedians and star of Motion Pictures, Radio and Television, was also a true Patriot. A man who loved his Country, its Flag and the Freedom America stood for. On January 14, 1969, Red touched the hearts of millions of Americans with his 'Pledge Of Allegiance,' in which he explained the meaning of each and every word.
On that particular show, Skelton offered his television audience his reminiscence of an incident from his schoolboy days in Indiana. Mr. Lasswell, Skelton's teacher, felt his students had come to regard the Pledge of Allegiance as a daily drudgery to be recited by rote; they had lost any sense of the meaning of the words they were speaking. As Skelton related the story, Mr. Lasswell told his class: "I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it's becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?"
Skelton then delivered to his audience (accompanied by a background of string music) a stirring version of the explanation provided to his school class by their teacher so many years earlier (and a recitation of the pledge itself). Skelton's explication and rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance proved to be quite popular and widely acclaimed, and in response to public demand it was issued in print and pressed into records.
With recent debate about taking “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance, there’s no denying that what he says couldn’t be more true to this day.
Red Skelton was a great comedian, Shrine Clown, and human being. We could all learn a lot from him. A "Pledge" is something to take seriously, as he points out. Another pledge he obviously KEPT was to make people smile... in his memory, we should strive to do the same.
Share his powerful speech with the world and show them how proud Americans are!