When I was a child, we would – as students and politicians do today – recite the Pledge of Allegiance. It sticks in my memory, and so it’s easy to type its words without looking them up: “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.”
Among those thirty-one words, there’s mention of liberty, but not so much, so vividly, as the first thirty-six words that declared to all the world America’s deepest, founding principles:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Someday, a time that will be a better day, I believe that we will wisely begin our affairs with a declaration over a pledge.