The Pledge of Allegiance: Behind the Voice


Herrera stands by artwork in the GBS commons hallway. Source: Sana Muneer

Sana Muneer, Editor in Chief

Every single school day at 8:30 am, a familiar voice echoes through the classrooms and hallways of Glenbard South High School.

Senior Hans Herrera is behind the friendly voice, and first debuted on the overhead intercom his junior year. 

Each morning, Herrera’s booming tone recites the Pledge of Allegiance over the loudspeaker, as well as jokes and important announcements for the day. 

Herrera initially volunteered for this role as a junior at South through the Speech Team, and alternated making the announcements with then-sophomore Amina Irfanullah. The two rotated until Herrera took over full time this year, his senior year. 

Herrera was inspired to lead Glenbard South in the Pledge of Allegiance in an effort to let his voice be heard and practice public speaking. As a devoted member of South’s Speech Team and theater program, Herrera naturally thrives when he is performing in front of a crowd. Volunteering to conduct the Pledge of Allegiance every day to South’s entire student body and staff was the next step in increasing his audience and confidence. 

Beyond the practical use of this role, Herrera was additionally intrigued by the excitement this position would bring. “I also just thought it would be fun. I recall in elementary school [that] sometimes [teachers] would volunteer students to do the pledge one morning and I always wished it would be my turn. Well, now I have the power to speak to the entire school,” he laughed. 

Herrera believes that the Pledge of Allegiance acts as a unifier, reminding students of the ideals of America. 

“…I try to use it to set the tone for the day, to bring life to our students. It reminds me that this will always be divisive: some people see it as sacred, others cultish. Some care, others don’t. I find it to be a way to understand that I should try to make every day a good day, and make everyone feel they belong, no matter what they think,” he said. 

“However, this is also the country with a constitutional right to protest, and it is completely understandable that when students see injustice in the world, we want our ideas to be heard, and some do so by refusing to participate,” Herrera continued. 

“That doesn’t make them undeserving or ungrateful, rather active members of society, those looking for change for the better.”

Herrera plans to attend Northern Illinois University for the visual and performing arts, and is eager to continue public speaking in all its forms.