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A Pennsylvania legislator is sponsoring a bill to recognize the 60th anniversary of the addition of the phrase, “under God,” to the Pledge of Allegiance.
Rep. John McGinnis (R-Blair) wants the state to formally recognize the phrase being added to the pledge February 1954, or 12 years after the pledge was adopted by Congress and 62 years after it was written.
The bill notes that God was mentioned in the Declaration of Independence as the source of rights and liberty and that Pennsylvania also recognized God in its state constitution.
“On February 7, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower came to the conviction that adding the words ‘under God’ to the Pledge of Allegiance of the United States would be the right ‘thing to do after hearing Reverend George Docherty preach that the phrase ‘nation under God, which was first used in the Gettysburg Address, was appropriate to be added to the Pledge of Allegiance because freedom ‘is defined by a fundamental belief in God,’” the bill says.
Congress voted to amend the pledge three days later, and McGinnis wants lawmakers to mark the Feb. 10 anniversary.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.”
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle field of that war. We come to dedicate a portion of it, as a final resting place for those who died here, that the nation might live. This we may, in all propriety do.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate – we can not consecrate – we can not hallow, this ground – The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here; while it can never forget what they did here.
It is rather for us, the living, we here be dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that, from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here, gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.