I failed to mention it, but during our Veteran’s assembly I had a flashback to my own school experience and it occurred to me that we are doing very little to instill patriotism in our younger children. Beyond teaching the flag salute and occasionally discussing military service there isn’t much included in our early educational system that encourages loyalty and citizenship. I suppose we leave most of that to the higher grades.
What made me think of it was hearing “Battle Hymn of the Republic” playing as background music and wondering how many students could sing at least one verse of it. Then I wondered if any of the adults in the audience could sing more than three verses of it. I could as a child. And many of the words came rushing back to me. We also sang “God Bless America”, “America the Beautiful”, “My Country ‘tis of Thee”, “You’re a Grand Old Flag”, and “The Star Spangled Banner”. At one school the whole student body sang a song each morning and our junior cadets brought out the flag for the flag salute.
If our patriotic lessons are lacking I suppose I am as much at fault as anyone. I need to incorporate more patriotic songs into our routine. But then there is the quandary of deciding whether “God Bless America” is politically correct in today’s educational climate. I feel guilty enough when I slip and say “Indian” instead of “Native American” or “Christmas” instead of “holiday celebration”. I am well aware that many parents are not patriotic and might take offense to my actions. So…one more thing to ponder.