Family forced to home-school still starts each day with Pledge of Allegiance


BRANSON, Mo. (KOLR) – Ask a kid and they’ll tell you, there is a lot to miss about the normal, pre-COVID-19 school day. One family in Branson’s Pointe Royale neighborhood is making sure one of those schoolhouse staples is still observed.

“Once we started home schooling, we put together a schedule for our kids,” dad and home-school teacher, Joel Merrifield, told Ozarks First. “And the first thing that we do is we start the day with the Pledge of Allegiance.”

Each morning, the family salutes, says the pledge, and listens to the Star-Spangled Banner.

For a while, the family gathered around dad’s computer, saluting a monitored flag. That is until daughter Isla pointed out that there was a flag waving in the neighbor’s yard.

From there, what started as a family affair quickly spread, becoming a daily ritual for the entire neighborhood.

“There are a lot of [our] neighbors that are veterans,” Merrifield told his kids. “I bet they’d come out and join us

The neighbors couldn’t have appreciated the invitation more.

“This display of patriotism,” one neighbor told us. “Is a perfect explanation of how Americans come together and solve problems. And we’ll solve this problem too.”

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