The Pledge of Allegiance – Excerpt from a John McCain Speech

Posted on February 28, 2008. Filed under: Good News, Military, Politicians |

Wow, very powerful!! How can people say the flag has no meaning?

This is taken from a speech that John McCain gave before the 1988 Republican National Convention.

“The Pledge of Allegiance” – by Senator John McCain

As you may know, I spent five and one half years as a prisoner of
war during the Vietnam War. In the early years of our imprisonment,
the NVA kept us in solitary confinement, two or three to a cell. In
1971 the NVA moved us from these conditions of isolation into large
rooms with as many as 30 to 40 men to a room.

This was, as you can imagine, a wonderful change and was a direct
result of the efforts of millions of Americans on behalf of a few
hundred POWs 10,000 miles from home.

One of the men who moved into my room was a young man named Mike Christian.

Mike came from a small town near Selma, Alabama. He didn’t wear a
pair of shoes until he was 13 years old. At 17, he enlisted in the
US Navy. He later earned a commission by going to Officer Training
School. Then he became a Naval Flight Officer and was shot down and
captured in 1967. Mike had a keen and deep appreciation of the
opportunities this country and our military provide for people who
want to work and want to succeed.

As part of the change in treatment, the Vietnamese allowed some prisoners to
receive packages from home. In some of these packages were
handkerchiefs, scarves and other items of clothing.

Mike got himself a bamboo needle. Over a period of a couple of
months, he created an American flag and sewed it on the inside of his shirt.

Every afternoon, before we had a bowl of soup, we would hang Mike’s
shirt on the wall of the cell and say the Pledge of Allegiance.

I know the Pledge of Allegiance may not seem the most important part
of our day now, but I can assure you that in that stark cell it was
indeed the most important and meaningful event.

One day the Vietnamese searched our cell, as they did periodically,
and discovered Mike’s shirt with the flag sewn inside, and removed it.

That evening they returned, opened the door of the cell, and
for the benefit of all of us, beat Mike Christian
severely for the next couple of hours Then, they opened the door of
the cell and threw him in. We cleaned him up as well as we could.

The cell in which we lived had a concrete slab in the middle on
which we slept. Four naked light bulbs hung in each corner of the room.

As I said, we tried to clean up Mike as well as we could. After the
excitement died down, I looked in the corner of the room, and
sitting there beneath that dim light bulb with a piece of red cloth,
another shirt and his bamboo needle, was my friend, Mike Christian.
He was sitting there with his eyes almost shut from the beating he
had received, making another American flag. He was not making the
flag because it made Mike Christian feel better. He was making that
flag because he knew how important it was to us to be able to Pledge
our allegiance to our flag and country.

So the next time you say the Pledge of
Allegiance, you must never forget the sacrifice and courage that
thousands of Americans have made to build our nation and promote
freedom around the world.

You must remember our duty, our honor, and our country.

“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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2 Responses to “The Pledge of Allegiance – Excerpt from a John McCain Speech”

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McCain could rally more conservatives around him if he shared more stories like this one. What an awesome story!

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