Almost daily there is a story, an anecdote, or a report about a school in America where students who are wearing patriotic shirts or symbols are being sent home, asked to turn their shirts inside out, or given another shirt to wear. The reason usually given is that the attire creates an uncomfortable situation for other students, or could cause trouble or a conflict situation. These are American schools. Are we not teaching our young to honor the nation in which they were born or have chosen to call their own? When students who honor their country and their heritage by the wearing of attire, the stars and stripes of our nation, are harassed and sent home on Cinco de Mayo Day, or any other day, it is time for citizens to go to war, a war that restores education in America to its founder’s dreams.
One needs only to look at Washington’s address to his army in camp on Long Island:
“The time is now near at hand, which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves, whether their homes and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed and themselves to be consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human effort will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and the conduct of this army. Our Cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of a brave resistance or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or to die.”
Yes, the time is now at hand to determine whether our schools will be instruments for freedom or for the transformation of our country to slavery. Will our schools be instruments to that cause or will our schools rise up and be instruments of freedom, instruments of honor and truth?
“Our own, our country’s honor, calls upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion. If we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. The eyes of all our countrymen are now upon us, and we shall have their blessings and praises if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the tyranny meditated against them. Let us, therefore, animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a freeman contending for liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.”
We have had the eyes of the world upon us from the inception of our country. There were more abroad, I believe, who understood the special nature of our great land than perhaps there were among us who grew up with liberty and assumed that it could always be with us. I am keenly aware that my liberty as I’ve been privileged to live it for the 92 years I have been given, is very much in jeopardy.
It is the eye that I have upon myself that compels me to write this document. I have given my life to serving in a profession for which I still have great passion. But I wonder what I could have done earlier, what I could have contributed to the minds of our new generations to preserve the tenets of our founders. All know that to transform a country you must control the minds of the young. You must erode the values, that stand in the way of the transformation. You must guide students’ thinking away from the founding principles of our nation.
Those of us who refuse to allow the transformers to have their way know too, that we have allowed others to re-write our history books. We have allowed multicultural ideas and activities to become the god of plurality and diversity. No people could possibly be more diverse than the multitudes from around the world that came to our shores. But they did not carry the flags of their nation on our holidays; they proudly carried the American flag and sang our national songs. Yes, they added the richness of their culture to blend into the culture of this new, great land. From their easel of experiences and varied backgrounds, they painted the great portrait that became America.
We have become afraid to be proud of our country, the country that millions have sought to call their own. We have taught our young to apologize for being American rather than teaching them to demonstrating their love, respect, pride, and gratitude for being a fortunate inhabitant of the “Shining City on the Hill.”