My name is Nadine, and I am one of Alma Hering’s four children. I must tell you that I am totally blown away by your recent article about my mother (Secaucus Reporter, Jan. 30). I was aware of my mother’s role in the “pledge of allegiance” episode in 1935, but was surprised by the re-write. I’m not sure if this is coincidence, or if the story just needed to be retold. On Feb. 4th, we were celebrating my son’s 41st birthday and we were discussing religious freedom and the events going on in Egypt. I’m not sure why I decided to share with my son and his daughter about the events his grandmother went through in 1935, but I did. He was amazed, and did research on her when he went home that night. He saw and realized something about my mother that I had overlooked. He told me that he had e-mailed you. I told him that I was glad he did the research and that I wanted to tell you about the 11 year-old girl that stood up for her rights.
My mother, Alma Ella Hering Vogel, was an amazingly brave and strong girl who grew up to be an amazingly loving and giving mother and wife. She married my dad, Henry Vogel from Secaucus, in 1939. Yes, she was only 14 and had a 5th grade education.
That episode affected my mom all of her life. After she was expelled from public school, she went to a boarding school run by the Witnesses. I’m not sure how long she went there, but she did not have a good experience there, and since it was not accredited, she officially had a 5th grade education.
My mom loved her religion and our God and she loved our country. She was so proud to be an American, where religious freedom prevailed. The episode so affected her that she was never strong again in that religion, however we, my siblings and myself, were given the “basic training” of being a Jehovah’s Witness. We were given the choice of which religion we wanted to be. Our mother taught us about God’s love, his grace and forgiveness. We went to the “meetings” with our grandmother and our Aunt. My mother wanted us to have the “normal” childhood that she did not have. We were able to join Girl Scouts and my brother Boy Scouts, had birthday parties, celebrated Christmas and Halloween. All of these things were difficult for her, but she wanted us to experience all the things she did not have.
Alma died in August 2005, and she is survived by her sister Vivian Lehman, who just celebrated her 60th wedding anniversary, and her four children, Bernice, Suzanne, Nadine and David. She had eight grandchildren, Laurie, Daniel, Dawn, Eric, Denice, Peter, Robert and Jason, and 11 great-grandchildren.
Nadine Vogel Glomboski