No. 1094



When it comes to patriotism and being loyal to our country, a newspaper publisher friend in Pennsylvania sent me something several years ago that I thought was worth passing along.
What he sent was a copy of “The American’s Creed,” and it seems so appropriate for our day. Actually, this column ran a good while back, but my good friend Wally Ballentine, former general manager of the Hot Springs Sentinel Record, requested that I run it again. So Wally, here it is.
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 the principles of freedom, equality, justice and humanity for which American patriots have 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.”
Here is how The American’s Creed came about. America’s involvement in World War I was a difficult and divisive issue for our nation. “President Woodrow Wilson struggled to maintain a position of American neutrality toward the European conflict. But when a German U-boat sank the unarmed British liner “Lusitania,” killing more than 1,000 people (including 128 Americans) on May 7, 1915, the president felt compelled to go before Congress to request a Declaration of War. Six out of 96 U.S. Senators and 50 Congressmen voted against the declaration. After much heated debate, the resolution finally passed on April 6, 1917.
“Citizens protested America’s involvement and thousands went to jail for interfering with the draft. Protesting the war was in vogue long before Vietnam. It was in the midst of this domestic turmoil that New York State Commissioner of Education Henry Sterling Chapin hatched the idea of a national essay contest to develop an American’s Creed. By contest deadline, more than 3,000 entries were received. William Tyler Page of Friendship Heights, Md., a descendent of President John Tyler and himself a congressional page, came up with the wording for the creed.”
Well, that’s the story of how The American’s Creed came into being. Whether you agree with this creed or abide by it is up to you, along with all other free people in this country. That’s the blessings of our system. We have the right to choose our own destiny. But there is one thing we should never forget, and that is the fact that these blessings are only available so long as our nation is free. That’s why 9-11-2001 should have been a wake-up call for every freedom-loving person in this country. But for some who don’t want us to win or too quickly forget, we need to be constantly reminded of the scarred faces of the firemen, other rescue workers and countless victims who were pulled from the rubble on that very sad day.
Only God knows what the future holds for our nation. For me personally, I will proudly say that I believe in The American’s Creed and will do all that I can to be a responsible citizen, to support our leaders, and be a positive influence on as many people as I can, both now and in the future. We know that when things are at their worst, you’ll find Americans at their best. One thing for sure, I will always respect and honor our flag. People who don’t are uninformed and just do not understand the true cost of our freedom.
(Editor’s Note: THE DEAL OF THE CENTURY – Begin your day on a positive note – 365 days for $12. This will benefit the Bookcase for Every Child project. Go to to subscribe.)