I was in a classroom of high school students on September 11th, 2012—11 years after the terrorist attacks on America. When it was time to say the pledge of allegiance, about half of the students stood up. Of those that did stand, only a couple of them put their hands to their hearts and actually recited the pledge.
Once attendance was taken and announcements were done, I was able to address the students. I asked them what had happened on 9/11. They said things like, “Some planes crashed into buildings somewhere.” and “Terrorist did something like blow up planes.”
I told them of my experience. I wrote a blog about it that can be accessed here.
To me, 9/11 isn’t history or something people told me about. I experienced it. I felt the fear. I worried about my family. I wondered if my house in Connecticut would still be there when I went home.
I also recall the resurgence of patriotism after the event. For many people, including myself, it was a wakeup call of how precious our freedom is.
After I explained this to the students, I asked them about the pledge of allegiance. One young man said, “It’s just something we do. I don’t know why.” Another student, this one a young woman, said, “I don’t understand why we have to do it every day. Once a week is fine. I think it’s a stupid. It’s not worth 14 seconds of my time.”