On September 7 1965 I stepped into an American classroom for the first time. I was nervous, but in that the Beatles had been on the Ed Sullivan Show recently and I had the same English accent I was quite a novelty and the nerves soon went away.
Then, without warning, I was asked, along with all of the other kids in Mrs. Imhoff’s 6th grade class at East Elementary, to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. I didn’t know the words, but Debbie Johnson, standing next to me, did. And she was proud to help me out. The next day I could recite it without help, and I can to this day. And I, like Debbie Johnson, am proud to do so, every chance I get.
Later, on October 25 1979, after taking an extended course of study and passing a knowledge test, I became a Citizen of the United States. I freely recited the following:
“I hereby declare, on oath,
- ·that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen;
- ·that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic;
- ·that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;
- ·that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law;
- ·that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law;
- ·that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law;
- ·and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.
In acknowledgement whereof I have hereunto affixed my signature.”
A few years later, I joined the US Army and the Oregon Army National Guard:
“I, Patrick Matthew Farr, do solemnly swear (
or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).
Then I became a commissioned officer:
“I, Patrick Matthew Farr, (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of Second Lieutenant, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.” (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.
In January 2003 I was sworn in as State Representative for House District 14:
I, Patrick Matthew Farr Sr., do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Oregon, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of
OREGON STATE REPRESENTATIVE
according to the best of my ability.”
Every day thereafter, when I reported to the House Floor, before any other duty was performed, I, along with the entire House of Representatives and gallery pledged allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.
Will I ask the Eugene City Council and gallery to join me in pledging allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands…?
You bet I will.