When I was a kid, I recited the Pledge of Allegiance in school. By rote, obediently. Elementary school days of hand-over-heart and guileless allegiance.
Then middle school rolled around. It became less cool, sure, but still unchallenged. It was patriotic at least, during a post-9/11 time when car flags flew in unison.
But in response to the intercom’s summons most high school mornings, I stayed quiet. When I lacked the resolve, I admit I moved my lips. Muscle memory, maybe. Or was it social? Either way, it was my silent protest.