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A good friend sent me an email on Friday, November 8th, suggesting that with Veteran's Day on the following Monday, we should do something that evening at the Boulder County Movie Nights to honor our Veterans.  As usual when I'm looking for something patriotic, I opened my copy of the Course of Study for the Public Schools of Colorado, printed for the school year of 1912.  And, as usual, it did not disappoint.  I couldn't help but think that if our current course of study for the State of Colorado was still only 296 pages long and still included a curriculum for all grades in all schools that offers suggestions for teaching all classes, but leaves the implementation of said teaching to the local teachers and families, then our children might still be getting a good education.  And if it was still suggested that "the following patriotic service is to be committed to memory," then the generations of students since 1912 might still know why it is so wonderful to be an American Citizen.

FLAG RITUAL
Prepared by Dr. John Grasse
(From pages 295 and 296, the last pages in the 1912 Course of Study for the Public Schools of Colorado, Issued by The Department of Public Instruction.)
 
The following patriotic service is to be committed to memory and used upon all patriotic anniversaries and occasions by the elementary and high schools.  The extent and frequency of its use in the elementary grades will be determined by the principal.

FIRST – Color-bearer enters room carrying the flag.  The pupils all rise to their feet and remain standing until the flag leaves the room. 

(It is suggested that as much form as possible be given to the matter of bringing the flag into the room and taking it out again.  It is more impressive to have a color guard, properly drilled, accompany the color-bearer, and all enter the room to the tap of a drum or the music of a piano.  If there is a drummer or a trumpeter among the pupils, the assembly may be sounded in the hall before the exercises begin.  One color guard can be used to do the work for all the grammar- or high-school grades in the building.)

SECOND – Salute the flag:  “We give our hands, our heads, and our hearts, to our country and to our flag.” 

(At the command “Salute the flag,” the regular army flag salute is given by raising the right hand briskly to the forehead above the right eye, and then bringing the arm to the side.)

THIRD – Questions and Answers.
Q: Why do we salute the flag?
A: Because we desire to honor it.
Q: Why do we honor it?
A: Because it stands for liberty, justice and equal opportunities for all those who live under its folds.
Q: How can we best show our devotion to the flag? 
A: By becoming law-abiding and honest citizens of our country.
Q: Who are the enemies of our flag?
A: Every person who strikes at our flag by force of arms or by breaking the laws that have been made to preserve our liberties.  Those who violate a public trust are even more dangerous enemies than those who openly fire upon our flag.

OUR DUTY
Q: What are our duties as citizens?
A: Always to defend the honor of the flag at the ballot box;  never to sell or buy votes, or permit the election laws to be broken if we can prevent; not to remain silent if we know of dishonesty in public affairs; but to put forth every effort for the punishment of those who are guilty of such crimes.
Above all, to remember that we are American citizens, whose duty it is to place the welfare of our country above greed or ambition.

FOURTH – Singing of “America.”
America (My Country, 'Tis of Thee)
 
Commonly referred to as America
by Rev. Samuel F. Smith - 1832

My country, 'tis of Thee,
Sweet Land of Liberty
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From every mountain side
Let Freedom ring.

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills,
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet Freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of Liberty,
To thee we sing,
Long may our land be bright
With Freedom's holy light,
Protect us by thy might
Great God, our King.

Our glorious Land to-day,
'Neath Education's sway,
Soars upward still.
Its hills of learning fair,
Whose bounties all may share,
Behold them everywhere
On vale and hill!

Thy safeguard, Liberty,
The school shall ever be,
Our Nation's pride!
No tyrant hand shall smite,
While with encircling might
All here are taught the Right
With Truth allied.

Beneath Heaven's gracious will
The stars of progress still
Our course do sway;
In unity sublime
To broader heights we climb,
Triumphant over Time,
God speeds our way!

Grand birthright of our sires,
Our altars and our fires
Keep we still pure!
Our starry flag unfurled,
The hope of all the world,
In peace and light impearled,
God hold secure!