By Ms. Watson
Teacher of Grades 2-3
Adapted from William Bennett’s “America: The Last Best Hope”
The United States was the first nation in history created out of the belief that people should govern themselves. The U.S. Constitution is the oldest written national constitution in work in the world today. It has been a model for country after country as democracy has spread across the continents.
America really is the land of the free. There are large parts of the world where people can’t say what they think, learn what they’d like, or even dress the way they want. There are places where people spend years in jail or disappear if they question their rulers. Less than half of the world’s population lives in countries where people are truly free.
No other country has done a better job of establishing equal rights for all citizens. Certainly, there have been times when the United States has fallen short of its founding principles. However, there are plenty of nations where people’s race, religion, or place of birth defines them as second-class citizens. In contrast, America has been a pioneer in striving toward the ideal that all are created equal.
This is the place where dreams can come true. The United States has long been the country people come to for the chance to make better lives. No other country has built a sturdier ladder for people to climb to success.
We enjoy one of the world’s highest standards of living. Americans live longer, have better health, and enjoy safer and more comfortable lives than a large number of the world’s people. Ours is one of the most prosperous nations in history.
No other country has welcomed and united so many people from so many different shores. Never in history have so many people from different backgrounds, races, nationalities, and religions lived and worked together so peacefully. In no other nation has the spirit of cooperation and brotherhood achieved more than it has in the United States.
America is a world leader in learning and invention. Name just about any subject and chances are good that leading authorities work here. The record of American inventions and discoveries goes on and on. American medical research centers are among the best in the world. The United States leads the world in space exploration. The computer revolution started here.
Americans are among the most generous people on earth. The United States has the largest groups of charitable and civic fellowships in the world, and this country is the planet’s largest source of human aid societies. Americans donate billions of dollars to help others each year. When disasters strike around the world, Americans are among the first to offer help and support.
America is a nation that looks to God for guidance. It was founded to be a place where all are free to worship, or not to worship, as they please. Among many differing beliefs, the vast majority of Americans draw strength from faith in God’s goodness and wisdom. “In God We Trust” is our national motto.
“A Nation’s Strength” by William Ralph Emerson.
What makes a nation’s pillars high And its foundations strong? What makes it mighty to defy The foes that round it throng?
It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand Go down in battle shock; Its shafts are laid on sinking sand, Not on abiding rock.
Is it the sword? Ask the red dust Of empires passed away; The blood has turned their stones to rust, Their glory to decay.
And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown Has seemed to nations sweet; But God has struck its luster down In ashes at his feet.
Not gold but only men can make A people great and strong; Men who for truth and honor’s sake Stand fast and suffer long.
Brave men who work while others sleep, Who dare while others fly… They build a nation’s pillars deep And lift them to the sky.
This historical thought was delivered by students in 2nd and 3rd grades at devotional on 5/4/23. Each week one class leads the student body in prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, scripture recitation, a meditation, and an historical thought. Family and friends are welcome, Thursdays 8:30-9:05 am.
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