Celebrate our Freedoms

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To Aaliyah Yan, the editor of (“Students, faculty discuss pledge of allegiance” October
2019) thank you for starting such an important conversation in our school.
I had never really thought to compare what I did in elementary and middle school to
what I did in highschool when it came to the pledge as you did , however, last year I did notice
that there was only one day a week where my whole class stood up, said the pledge, and paused
for a genuine moment of silence. Wednesday mornings to be exact. Wednesday mornings are
different at Algonquin because that’s the only morning where the day starts with period two and
coincidentally my period two teacher last year was Mrs. Mott. But is it actually a coincidence
that the pledge was said loud and proud in Mrs. Mott’s class? I don’t think so. I think it has a lot
to do with what Aaliyah said about feeling pressured not to say anything for political reasons, or
feeling judged if you do say the pledge out loud. Mrs. Mott’s love for freedoms that many of us
take for granted took away that awkward judgy feeling in her classroom which allowed all of her
students to celebrate their freedoms with her without feeling awkward. The Pledge of Allegiance
should be used as a way to honor those who have given their everything so that we can be free.
Free to do whatever, go wherever, and say whatever. In fact if it weren’t for those men and
women who have given the ultimate sacrifice I likely wouldn’t be here writing this letter because
Aaliyah wouldn’t have been able to write her piece and take into account the many different
opinions that she did. Afterall , those men and women did die to protect our first amendment
rights among many others.
Overall, I believe that we should all make an effort to change the narrative from just
“saying the pledge” to celebrating our freedoms every morning. Regardless of what you
personally believe about the country, at the end of the day we will always be more free than not
and that’s because of the men and women who died to protect our freedom.

Martina Ghabour, 2020