Much of America today is an enormously divided nation, both politically and culturally. Hopefully, this situation soon will change in a manner that, among other things, embodies and puts into practice the very special words of the American’s Creed. In order for this to happen, many currently serving politicians at all levels of government first need to learn what the American’s Creed says and then use its words as a primary guideline for actions and decisions.
The year 2018 was the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the American’s Creed by the United States Congress (House of Representatives). In April of 1918, the Congress accepted the words composed in 1917 by William Tyler Page during World War I as the official American’s Creed.
Referring to the Creed, Page said: “It is the summary of the fundamental principles of the American political faith as set forth in its greatest documents, its worthiest traditions, and its greatest leaders.” His wording of the Creed used passages and phrases from the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and Daniel Webster’s reply to Robert Y. Hayne in the Senate in 1830. The Creed reads as follows:
“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 those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots 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.”
If today’s politicians, at all levels of government but especially members of the United States Congress, strongly embraced and let the American’s Creed guide their daily actions and decisions, this would certainly be in the best interests of America. Such a “lifestyle” should help overcome, hopefully in a major way, the terribly bitter and divisive political environment that presently exists in America.
For the benefit of the nation, Americans serving in high political offices need to join with their patriotic ancestors in supporting and living out the very special words of the American’s Creed.
Paul S. Gardiner is a Vietnam veteran residing in Hoschton, GA. He is a member of the American Legion and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Alabama, and Army War College.