I agree with amysrevenge. The tone is reasonable without sounding angry or whiny. I also like how you volunteered to give an inclusive invocation.
Minor grammatical stuff:
Either lose the paragraph indentations, or don't forget to indent the one beginning "Asking everyone to stand..."
And "After the pledge, I and those around me began to sit" reads a little clunky. Normally, you put yourself last, but "those around me and I" sounds no better. How about, "After the pledge, those atendees nearby and I..."?
"Asking everyone to stand...." is not a separate paragraph, it's the conclusion of the existing paragraph. The quoted text above is an inset box quote in the original but the formatting did not come through.
I agree the last bit is clunky. It was even worse the first way I wrote it (commenced to resume our seats or somesuch).
How about, "many around me, including myself, began to..."
That would be grammatically worse since "myself" is the reflexive subject form of the first person (I pinched myself, I commended myself, I nominated myself) and the proper direct subjective form of first person is "me". But then you have "around me, including me" which points out that "around me" can't possibly include me. I can't be around myself.
I could say "as those in my vicinity started to sit, we were asked..." because "those in my vicinity" impliedly includes me and "we" expressly includes me and there's no reflexive problem.
Better yet I can just say "as we began to sit..." which serves to show it was not just I who was surprised by the request, without excluding the possibility that some people remained standing.