Stephen Ellison

Palo Alto Rotary Nixes Pledge of Allegiance

In a sign of changing times, the Rotary Club in Palo Alto decided it will no longer recite the Pledge of Allegiance at its weekly meetings.

A narrow majority of the 130 members of the chapter recently voted to stop saying the pledge. The chapter president explained.

"It's because we want to be welcoming ... to all members in our club, whether they're different ages, whether they're used to reciting the pledge or not, and that also goes for members who are from other countries," Dana Tom said. "But many of the younger members have not grown up with the tradition of reciting the pledge."

The new rule comes with one exception: Tom said the organization will still recite the pledge during meetings held close to certain holidays, including Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day.

Several other local service groups have made a similar decision to stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

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