Oh, from the mouths of babes.
Kindergarten teacher Desiree Aguirre posed the simple question to her class of 5-year-olds: “What part of the Pledge of Allegiance do you like best and why?”
They had just finished reciting the pledge which always follows the opening prayer, the daily ritual that opens every school day for all classes at St. Anthony of Padua School in Manteca.
The young faces trained on their teacher’s face took on a thoughtful and serious pose as they analyzed the question. Soon, hands started going up. One by one, Aguirre called on the students’ names. Here are some of the students’ well thought-of answers:
Student #1: “And justice for all, because it means everybody (should) be treated like family.”
Student #2: “Under God.”
Mrs. Aguirre: “And why is that so important?”
Student #2: “It makes us feel good as Americans.”
Student #3: “Because God loves all of us.”
Aguirre commenting on that answer, added: “God loves not just our country but all countries in the world.”
Student #3: “The United States of America, because it’s our country.”
Aguirre then asked the class, “Why do we recite the Pledge of Allegiance?”
“Because we love our country,” was the quick and quiet answer from one of the students.
Nodding her head and smiling, Aguirre told her attentive young audience, “We love our country but we love God even more.”
The students were stumped when Aguirre asked, “Why do we stand when we recite the Pledge of Allegiance?” It’s because “our flag deserves our respect,” she said providing them with the explanation.