The United States of America provides opportunities and privileges that exist in few other nations. Often, we take these privileges for granted.

A recent editorial concerning three South Portland seniors and their stand on pledging allegiance to the flag needs another perspective (“Our View: South Portland students give lesson in patriotism,” Feb. 26).

About 40 years ago, my son was in fifth grade and decided he did not want to pledge allegiance because of the clause “under God” (which was added to the pledge in the 1950s). At that point in his life, he questioned if there was a God.

I was called by the school and told that because my son was a leader in class, what he did reflected on what the others would do.

I asked whether he was disrespectful of the flag (the answer was no) and whether he stood with the class (the answer was yes). I defended his right not to say the pledge and requested only that he be respectful, which he was.

Today, that man believes in God and attends church regularly. In fact, his son proudly attends the U.S. Naval Academy.

I support the South Portland students and would urge our schools to help them explore more deeply the history of this wonderful country and understand the gift they have been given to live in such a free nation.

A suggestion: “Brothers Forever,” about two young Annapolis graduates who gave their lives for us and are buried side by side in Arlington National Cemetery, is worthy of reading.

The young men and women in our military are a major part of the strength of our country. They protect us so that we can enjoy the freedoms we often take for granted.

Jana Lapoint