Veterans Day is every day: Why I stand for the Pledge


Tory Spruill

Brandon Cooper stands for the pledge.

by Brandon Cooper, Reporter

With police brutality, the election results, and the frustrating way the country is (or is not) operating, I completely understand why some choose to exercise their right to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some wanted to lay on the floor during the Pledge.

I believe that it is respectful to stand for these few seconds–11 seconds by my calculation. Respect should be a social norm, and I believe that standing for the Pledge is a good start. I am not standing because I support the wrongs in our society.  I stand out of respect for what is right.

I respect those who risk their lives for our country, those who educate the children of our country, and those who help the sick and poor to build a better country.

I stand for the good.

I stand for the Sentinel who guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Rigorously trained, and alone, the guard paces back and forth in front of the tomb. Through rain, sleet and snow they guard the tomb selflessly.

Each guard goes through an intensive training cycle including uniform preparation, knowledge, tests on weapon manuals, ceremonial steps, cadence, military bearing and orders. All of this ceremony honors the dead and illustrates the respect they have for their country. 

If the Sentinel can stand for hours, I can stand for 11 seconds.

I stand for my brother, an Airborne Paratrooper for the US Army, who has made over a dozen jumps out of an airplane preparing to be deployed wherever his country needs him. He spends countless hours training, guarding posts and preparing to risk his life.  

While stationed at Fort Bragg, LHS Class of 2015 Chris Cooper, goes through physical training, land navigation, practice at gun ranges, and, recently, he tried for his Expert Infantry Badge.  If he can stand for hours to keep me safe, I can stand for 11 seconds.

I also stand for my mom, Christy Cooper, who spent eight years in the military working as a critical care nurse, including a 10-month deployment to Afghanistan.

She worked at Camp Bastion helping soldiers who were severely injured on the battlefields fighting America’s enemies. One difficult experience was caring for Marine Corporal Timothy Donley who, only 19 years old and in the military for less than a year and Afghanistan for less than 30 days, needed to be given 72 units of blood after being injured by an IED (improvised explosive device).

While Donley was clinging to life, my mother helped save this man who lost both of his legs and almost lost his arm. They were later reunited in the Wounded Warrior ward of Walter Reed hospital. His mother ran to mine and thanked my mom for saving her son.  

If a man has lost the ability to stand by serving our country, I can stand for 11 seconds out of respect. If my mother can stand for hours, holding another person’s life in her hands, I can be thankful and stand for 11 seconds in response.

Respect for these sacrifices and for the good in our country is needed. Slogans such as “Hillary for Prison” and other disrespectful remarks displayed in public show that this country is in dire need of respect. The recent presidential race is substantial evidence of the lack of respect and how much we need to improve.

In the classroom, respect is necessary, and a simple act of standing for the Pledge is a start. For classroom functionality, respect is at the core. The teacher must give respect to the students while also receiving respect from those students. Without this positive attitude, learning could not take place.

Standing for the Pledge has always been a sign of respect for the freedom we have and an opportunity to realize from whom and how we received that freedom. For those reasons I will always stand.



Christy Cooper and Timothy Donley.