New Year’s Day event to have patriotic tribute

“I pledge allegiance 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.”

With the sun rising in the east, and those in attendance placing their hand over their heart, Bayard resident Tom Ford hopes to start off 2016 with a pledge to the United States of America.

“I said the Pledge of Allegiance every school day for 12 years — through grammar school, through high school. We would start the day with that. Now we’re getting some schools that are banning the Pledge of Allegiance.

“I certainly have no problem pledging allegiance to this country. I’m proud of this country. I may not be proud of everything this country has done, but I think we have one of the best systems known to the civilized man.”

Ford said he was moved to make a public pledge following news reports that Tashfeen Malik, one of the two gun-wielding terrorists in the Dec. 8 San Bernardino shooting, reportedly made a pledge to the jihadist militant group the Islamic State (also referred to as ISIL, ISIS or DAESH) on social media prior to the shooting.

“When Tashfeen Malik said before she went in to shoot those innocent people in San Bernardino that she pledged allegiance to ISIS, it really struck a nerve with me.

“I said, ‘We really need to say the Pledge of Allegiance… You know what? I would like to publically make a display of pledging allegiance.’”

Ford has asked his family to join him, along with friends and anyone else in the community who feels moved to do so. They plan to gather at 7 a.m. by the Bethany Beach bandstand, where he will set up a flag, and those in attendance will make the pledge around 7:10 a.m., before the 7:17 a.m. sunrise.

“It’s really simple,” he said.

Ford said he hopes others in the community will show their support of our country, and join him and his family as they pledge allegiance.

“It’s a new year, there are going to be a lot of changes in 2016. We are going to have a new president. I would just like to say the pledge of allegiance and asked my family to join me, and anyone else who would like to.”