Letter: National heritage must be instilled in citizens
Too many citizens have paid too little attention to the circumstances that created our nation. It took faith, courage, sacrifice and hard work to earn our rightful status as a sovereign nation.
Is our Declaration of Independence, Constitution and our founding history adequately taught in our schools? Our founding fathers warned us through their writings that we must teach our children and each subsequent generation about the virtues of our founding if we are to maintain our system of government, a republic (a representative democracy) based on the Constitution of the United States. They told us that religion must be part of our education if we are to retain our liberty. What happened to that concept? And why have our federal and state “educational experts” shunned teaching what our founding fathers urged us to teach? Christianity is and has always been part of our American culture; but it is being pushed aside. To quote just two of our founding fathers:
“The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this, there can be no virtue. And without virtue, there can be no liberty; and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.” —Benjamin Rush.
“Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day … If a nation expects to be ignorant—and free—in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” —Thomas Jefferson.
It would be a great service to our students and our country if our public schools would provide educational program that focus on developing a deep understanding of our national heritage; our country’s founding principles and the role of a responsible, informed and engaged citizenry. For if a nation loses its culture, achievements, identity and heritage, it will never survive.
To help perpetuate the ideas and foundation upon which our nation was created, we need leaders—local, state and national—who outwardly show a sincere appreciation and genuine respect for our history, our customs, our sufferings and our blessings. We need citizens and leaders, especially our politicians, who stand at attention with hands over their hearts when The Star-Spangled Banner is played or get a little choked up when a particularly moving rendition of America the Beautiful is heard.
We want them to burst with pride when American flags are hoisted on the 4th of July or any other national holiday—or when Taps is played on a bugle. We want them to be proud to say The Pledge of Allegiance and respect and admire our military. We want them to have a basic understanding of our Constitution, to know why and how our nation was founded, and that our form of government is a republic and that no political party is more important than our country.
We want them to know that our country was founded on faith. We want them to know the value of hard work and the pride of being self-reliant. We want them to be of good moral character and to believe that truth is a most important virtue. And we want these things for our future citizens and leaders as well.
It is time to pay close attention.