I remember reciting my first speech – “Respect the flag . . . “ – those are the only words I remember, maybe because that’s the title.
Although I don’t remember the words, I do remember the feeling I had as a seven-year-old reciting the poem from memory in front of judges and others I didn’t know.
I was nervous. I had butterflies. And I knew I didn’t want to mess up.
I adjusted my sparkly Uncle Sam hat and waited for the judge’s nod while my heart seemed to pound out of my chest.
I drew a deep breath and began the poem. With shaky hands I...