Aidan always sat in the back of his second grade class. He was shy and never liked having to stand up in front of his peers to speak or write on the blackboard. There was one exception to this, though: on his first day of school, his teacher Mrs. Robinson announced that the class would start with the pledge of allegiance. There was a large American flag standing beside her.
"Who would like to stand in front of the class and start the pledge?" she asked.
No one raised a hand. No one stood up. Aidan looked around him, surprised that no one volunteered. He then stood up and said, "My great-grandpa used to live in Cuba. He was a poor man when he became an American citizen. He got to learn in a good school so he could start his own business. It was so successful that he earned a lot of money. He would not have been able to do that in Cuba. My dad was proud of what great-grandpa was able to do, so he became a soldier to help protect America. The least I can do is be brave enough to stand up and say the pledge."
Mrs. Robinson smiled at him and nodded. "Come to the front of the class."
Aidan breathed in deeply to try and quell his fear. He stared straight ahead and came to the front of the class. He turned around to see twenty other students staring back at him. His heart was pounding, but he covered it with his right hand.
"I pledge allegiance," he started as the class joined him, "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."
He dropped his hand again with a smile on his blushing face. He was proud to stand up for America with his father and great-grandfather.