Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The American’s Creed

I have to admit, I didn’t even know that we had an American’s Creed. But, with Independence Day fast approaching, now is an opportune time to learn about it. And with the fatigue from our current economic pinch and seemingly perpetual bad news, maybe we can find some inspiration from a truly selfless man – a true American in every sense of the word.

William Tyler Page of Maryland, who was an employee of the U.S. House of Representatives and Clerk of the House from 1919 to 1931, was the winner of a nationwide contest for the best summary of American political faith. His idea was to write a creed in the style of the Apostle’s Creed (I’ll have to look that one up.) It came to him while driving home from church in 1917, a time when the United States was fighting World War I. Page used the writings of the Declaration of Independence, Preamble to the Constitution and the Gettysburg Address for inspiration. The U.S. House of Representatives accepted Page’s Creed on behalf of the American people and in 1918, it became the official American’s Creed.

The prize William Tyler Page won: $1,000. I’m sure that was a substantial amount of money in 1918. But rather than keep it for himself, he used the money to buy Liberty Bonds and gave them to his church. Now that is a true American.

The American’s Creed

I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people; whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a Republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect Union; one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag; and to defend it against all enemies.

Tomorrow, I am going to do a good deed for a fellow American because I am happy to be an American. Thanks for the inspiration, Mr. Page.

Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Eagle Has Landed

My father-in-law happens to be friends with Neil Armstrong. I was fortunate to meet Mr. Armstrong and his wife at my mother-in-law’s funeral and although it was under sad circumstances, it was none-the-less a cool thing to actually meet the person who was the first human ever to step foot on the moon.

On July 20, 1969, Apollo II astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed Eagle on the surface of the moon. Moments after they landed, Neil Armstrong’s voice from a quarter of a million miles away announced to Earth, “the Eagle has landed.”

Eagle’s trip to the moon’s surface had not gone exactly as planned. The computer had overloaded and the spacecraft hurled toward the surface – Houston decided not to abort the mission and directed “Eagle, you are a go for landing.” The computer had overshot Eagle’s mark by four miles and as Armstrong looked out the window to find a smooth landing area, he saw they were approaching a crater of jagged boulders. A warning light began to blink indicating they were running out of landing fuel. With no other options, Armstrong took command from the computer and safely landed Eagle just as the low-fuel signal flashed. Six and a half hours later, he and Aldrin stepped onto the surface of the moon.

Before Armstrong and Aldrin departed, they left a plaque on the moon that says:

JULY 1969, A.D.

If we could create peace on Earth for all mankind, that would truly be an amazing achievement!

Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Preamble

Well, it’s been far too long since I’ve blogged — I had good intentions. Time to get back to learning.

Last fall I got very involved in a local PAC (political action committee) for a great cause in which we were unfortunately defeated, but sometimes it only takes a few to make a big difference and you still have to try no matter the odds.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought a book at our local bookstore, Pages, about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It made me think a lot about the sacrifices made by so many, the courage and dedication of a handful, and how both made such an impact on our lives today. Our small PAC fighting for 13 acres of land would not have been possible had it not been for all of the people who have given so much for us to not have to give much at all. So I sat down with my book and memorized the Preamble. I felt like it was something I absolutely should know by heart. We all take our freedoms for granted, but even little things, like going against the world’s largest retailer, reminds me how truly fortunate we are to have our voices heard regardless of the outcome.

The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Now you’re a little smarter, Girlfriend — And so am I.