No. 434


After 9-11-01 there are millions of people in the United States of America who became overtly patriotic that did not even know they were patriotic. There is nothing like a real threat to our nation's survival to galvanize our citizens into action. I'm so proud to be an American and I bet you are, too. I pray each day for our troops who are in Afghanistan and Iraq that they will return safely. As I have told my Sunday School class many times, my heart hurts for families who receive the sad news that their loved one has been killed in the service of our country. I also think about the other wars we have been involved in over the past 200 years, where millions of Americans have made the supreme sacrifice to win and preserve out freedom. May we never take it for granted?Ê

When it comes to patriotism and being loyal to our country, my good friend George Sample, who lives in Corry, Pennsylvania, sent me something the other day that I thought was worth passing along. What he sent me was a copy of "The American's Creed" and the background behind the creed. As this article states, many Americans do not even know we have a creed, much less what it is or how it came to be. As I share this, I hope you will think deeply about your own life and if this creed truly applies to you. There are so many of our citizens today who are dishonest, unethical and immoral who want to live off a hog fattened by someone else, and never think about giving something back. Sadly, many of our political leaders are the worst offenders.Ê


"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 1000 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, although 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 3000 entries were received. William Tyler Page of Friendship Heights, Maryland, 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 9-11-01 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.

God only knows what the future holds for our nation.Ê 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. In my heart, I believe this is also true for all of you who will read this column. We know that when things are at their worst, you'll find Americans at their best. Ê(Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)