John Wayne: Read the Duke’s Beautiful Explanation of the Pledge of Allegiance for Fourth of July

by Jon D. B.
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The year was 1972. John Wayne‘s spoken-word album, America, Why I Love Her, would arrive to the American people. It was a project of great personal importance to the icon – one that he would mark among his favorite, most lasting achievements.

John Wayne himself would describe the album as “a series of heartfelt, patriotic speeches over a bed of stirring music.” And that’s exactly what his fellow Americans got.

Join us as we revisit the iconic, stirring words The Duke found in our Pledge of Allegiance for this Fourth of July. Firstly, his original speech, the 8th track from America, Why I Love Her, is available to listen to in full right here. Then, follow along with John Wayne’s own lyrics below in full.

Within, Wayne sees America as “a land forged by hot steel of courage,” where “freedom of worship is a cornerstone of her being… A land graced with temples and churches, synagogues and altars that rise in profusion to embrace all the religions of the world.”

It is, in short, as powerful a love song to the United States of America as one could ever write.

John Wayne: ‘The Pledge of Allegiance’

“I pledge allegiance to the flag”

What do those words mean to you?
To me they say, “Thank you, America, for your strength
Your courage and for our freedom…
Which has been a beacon to the world for two hundred years.”

“Of the United States of America”

Whose bright stars are fifty states…
Each bearing its own stamp of individuality.
People… Two hundred million strong…
People who have come to her from all corners of the earth.

“And to the republic for which it stands”

A land of laws… With an ingenious system of checks and balances
That allows no man to become a tyrant…
And lets no group prevail… If their power is not tempered
With a real concern for the governed…
A land where the right of dissent and of free speech is jealously guarded…
Where the ballot box is the sword… And the people its wielder.

“One nation under God”

A land where freedom of worship is a cornerstone of her being…
A land graced with temples and churches, synagogues and altars…
That rise in profusion to embrace all the religions of the world.

“Indivisible”

A land forged by the hot steel of raw courage…
And formed forever… By the awful crucible of civil war.

“With liberty”

Where man in pursuit of an honest life will not be denied his chance…
Where her citizens move freely within her vast borders without hindrance or fear…
A land brimming with opportunity…
Where freedom of choice is the guide for all.

“And justice”

The courts of our land are open to all.
Its wheels of justice grind for all causes… All people.
They look to every avenue for justice… Every concern of the law…
And they temper their reasoning with mercy…

“For all!

To listen to John Wayne’s “Pledge of Allegiance” at your leisure, you can find the entire America, Why I Love Her album to stream on Spotify

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