Growing up, my family moved a lot. Dad worked construction and later as a pipeline welder, so we moved to where the work was, stayed until the job was finished, and headed to the next job. This meant attending many elementary schools. Here is the list of schools and the grade(s).
- Shamrock, Texas (1st grade)
- Briscoe, Texas (2nd grade)
- Aurora, Colorado (3rd & 4th grade)
- Spearman, Texas (4th, 5th, 6th grade)
- Canyon, Texas (7th grade – 12th)
Attending first grade in Shamrock was a brand new experience for me. Kindergarten was not part of the ‘free’ public school system back then, so heading to first grade was my first great adventure away from home, and adventure it was.
Some memories have faded, but a few still linger. Assigned seating (alphabetical), roll call (with lunch count), and learning the Pledge of Allegiance. Saying the Pledge every morning allowed me to quickly memorize the words as I faced the US flag at the front of the room, put my right hand over my heart and said …
The Pledge of Allegiance
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 for all.
Thirty-one words that took time to learn as a first grader, now seem so easy to remember. As I got older, I learned the history behind the flag and the importance of the Pledge. About the soldiers and the sacrifices, and what liberty and justice meant.
I don’t know if they still start each day at school with the Pledge, but each week at Toastmasters, we do. And to this day it brings a lump to my throat as we recite the Pledge, facing the flag, with hand over heart.