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To the Editor: In these times when our beautiful America is under attack from all sides, including from within the very heart of our governing bodies, it is more important than ever for us to show our pride and allegiance to this great nation by every possible means.

Our Select Board is considering stopping the practice of beginning their meetings by standing tall, hands over hearts as they gaze upon the Stars and Stripes that symbolize our freedoms — including our freedom to assemble — and pledging their allegiance to the nation it represents, the freedoms for which so many patriots fought and died — the freedoms we are still fighting to hold onto today.

While this is a local governing group, it is an extension of the greater governance whose core is the very heart of our democracy as a free country. As such, showing allegiance to the flag that proudly and prominently flies above every government building throughout our country affirms our commitment to maintaining those freedoms. Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance reminds us of our history and our obligations to uphold all that our flag represents.

Beginning a local government meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance to our country might serve as a reminder of the impact any decisions made at that meeting will have on the members of our community, on their needs and freedoms.

Even more important is to start every school day by having the students stand in their classrooms, face the flag, and say the words "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."

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Our school children need not only to say the Pledge, but to learn exactly what those words mean and the history they represent.

We all need to remember that history, especially today when our freedoms and our democracy are under attack, both from foreign entities and from within our own citizenry.

We also need to teach our children about the God who is included in our pledge. They lost that connection when prayer was taken out of public schools. It wouldn't hurt to reinstate both the Pledge and prayer in the classrooms once again. God knows, our country needs Him now more than ever.

Margaret Boulet,

Bennington


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