The following is a transcript of the 2016 Patriotic Program. We hope you enjoy reading through it and are encouraged!
PATRIOTIC PROGRAM 2016 TO HONOR THOSE WHO SERVED
- 2nd Grade sang – All the States and Capitals of the USA
- 6th Grade sang – Meet the 44 Presidents
- Kindergarten recited… Thoughts on the Constitution and Freedom
K – Thoughts on the Constitution and Freedom
- “The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon.” George Washington
- “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” Patrick Henry
- “We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government.” James Madison
- “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams
- “Can the liberties of a nation be sure when we remove their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people, that these liberties are a gift from God?” Thomas Jefferson
- Proverbs 2:6-7 – “For the Lord gives wisdom, from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly.”
- “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on to them to do the same.” Ronald Reagan
WELCOMING STATEMENTS (Mr. Jeff Johnston) Welcome to Bradford Academy. Thank you for joining us this evening. Tonight we will be sharing some of the things the students are learning through song and recitation. AND in doing so, we want to honor those who have served in our ARMED FORCES and honor that for which they sacrificed. SO, you Veterans among us, you are especially welcome! Let’s all stand for our NATIONAL ANTHEM then remain standing as I will lead us in prayer.
ALL – “The Star Spangled Banner”
Mr. Johnston – We live in a day of unprecedented material blessing. Consequently, this generation is often guilty of enjoying this good gift from God and forgetting the principles that made this country what it is. It would be tragic to forget the great foundations and the wisdom of those who gave us this country. Listen now to 5th grade as they share some of the things our FOUNDING FATHERS have said to us today…
5th GRADE recited… A Conversation with the Founding Fathers
- The Founding Fathers were thoughtful, intelligent, and well-educated men who had wise ideas about government and our nation. As we celebrate our nation and those who have sacrificed to preserve our nation, it is helpful to remember some of the wisdom they valued and upon which they built our nation.
- Mr. Adams?
- Samuel Adams.
- What do you have to say to the next generation?
- “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” Samuel Adams
- To one another: But how are we to hold on to this liberty?
- Mr. Jefferson, you were there when they were fighting for liberty . . . didn’t you even write the Declaration of Independence? You thought liberty worth much sacrifice – do you have any advice on how to keep it?
- “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. . .History by apprising [citizens] of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views.” Thomas Jefferson
- You agree, Mr. Webster?
- “Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country.” Noah Webster
- Yet knowing history, the people must act to take responsibility for and protect their liberty, right? Ah, Mr. John Adams!
- “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.” John Adams
- OK . . .study history, take responsibility for holding the government accountable, what else? Mr. Adams? Samuel Adams?”
- “[N]either the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.” Samuel Adams
- Mr. Madison, you are considered the Father of our Constitution. What do you add?
- “The aim of every political Constitution is or ought to be first to obtain for rulers, men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous, whilst they continue to hold their public trust.” James Madison
- True, is it not, Mr. Washington?
- “It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.” George Washington
- Where is Thomas Paine? He wrote something about the work it is to keep our freedom.
- “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated.” Thomas Paine
- Mr. Washington, you would like to add?
- “Every post is honorable in which a man can serve his country. It is . . . [the citizens] choice, and depends upon their conduct, whether they will be respectable and prosperous, or contemptible and miserable as a Nation . . . this is the moment when the eyes of the World are turned upon them.” George Washington
RECOGNIZE VETERANS (Mr. Jeff Johnston)
God has given us liberty and we must all work to preserve it and protect it. One of the means by which we have been given liberty is by the SACRIFICE of those men and women of our ARMED SERVICES. If you are among that honored number, if you have served, please stand or raise a hand, so we can all thank you. Thank you! This next song is dedicated to you!
4th Grade played recorders “Over There”
All sang “Over There”
Mr. Johnston – We are thankful to all those who serve; however there is another group within that number who made the ultimate sacrifice. This next recitation is dedicated to those who never made it home.
4th Grade Recited – O Captain My Captain, By Walt Whitman
O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
OATH of ENLISTMENT (Mr. Johnston) – I am sure every veteran had his or her own reason to enlist. I expect for most it was for a more greater cause than a mere paycheck. Listen to the oath sworn by each person enlisting in an armed forces…
“I, (state name of enlistee), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”
I want to make four observations about this oath…
- Did you notice what they swear to protect? YES, the CONSTITUTION. Not the land, not the people, not our “interests”. Perhaps that is because it is the CONSTITUTION, and the RULE of LAW, that is meant to protect the American people.
- Did you notice the caveat (or qualification) placed upon their obedience? They will obey orders ACCORDING to the CODE of MILITARY JUSTICE. In other words even the those who give the orders, all the way up to the president, are still accountable to the rule of law.
- Did you notice the time limit on this oath? No, me neither. All our service members, past and present stand as defenders of the PRINCIPLES embodied in the Constitution.
- Lastly, did you notice from where their HELP comes? It comes from the Lord, Almighty God, the sovereign ruler of nations. Without Him everything is a futile effort.
So, once again, to our veterans… We say thank you. Let’s take a moment now to think about the CONSTITUTION, the very thing they have pledged to defend. Next the students will recite the PREAMBLE followed by a few thoughts from our THIRD GRADE.
ALL STUDENTS – PREAMBLE to the US Constitution
We the People
of the United States,
in order to form a more perfect Union,
establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility,
provide for the common defense,
promote the general Welfare,
and secure the Blessings of Liberty
to ourselves and our Posterity,
do ordain and establish this Constitution for the
United States of America.
3rd Grade recited – Thoughts on the Constitution
- What is a constitution? William Paterson, one of the signers of the U.S. Constitution answered that question by saying:
- “It is the form of government, delineated by the mighty hand of the people, in which certain ….. fundamental laws are established. The Constitution is certain and fixed; It contains the permanent will of the people, and is the supreme law of the land; it is paramount to the power of the legislature, and can be revoked or altered only by the authority that made it.” William Paterson
- The purpose of the Constitution is not to give people “rights”. The framers of the Constitution considered our rights to be God-given. However, it does protect our rights by limiting the powers of government through granting the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches specific and limited powers listed therein.
- James Madison remarked, “An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among the several bodies of magistracy as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.”
- Andrew Jackson later commented,“Upon this country more than any other has, in the providence of God, been cast the special guardianship of the great principle of adherence to written constitutions. If it fail here, all hope in regard to it will be extinguished.”
- Unfortunately, we recently lost a strong defender or the CONSTITUTION.
- Antonin Gregory Scalia, who referred to himself as an “originalist”, was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from 1986 until his death on February 13th of this year. In the context of United States constitutional interpretation, originalism is a principle that views the Constitution’s meaning as fixed as of the time of enactment, just as the founders intended.
- This is in direct conflict with the modern view that the Constitution is a “living document,” allowing courts to take into account the views of contemporary society.
- Scalia often remarked, “The Constitution that I interpret and apply is not living but dead, or as I prefer to call it, enduring. Our manner of interpreting the Constitution is to begin with the text, and to give that text the meaning that it bore when it was adopted by the people. It means today not what current society, much less the court, thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted.”
- In Justice Scalia’s view, the Constitution was not supposed to facilitate change but to impede change to citizens’ basic fundamental rights and responsibilities. Justice Scalia abhorred “judicial activism” and believed the place for implementing change was in the legislature, where the will of the people are represented.
- If the Constitution is to be changed, there is a process to do that called CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS.
- Scalia went on to say, “As long as judges tinker with the Constitution to ‘do what the people want,’ instead of what the document actually commands, politicians who pick and confirm new federal judges will naturally want only those who agree with them politically.”
- Though Judge Scalia was attacked by many for his views of originalism, he commented “[H]ave the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.”
- We must, as young citizens and leaders of the future, show our regard for the work of those who have gone before us by echoing their voices in the public square. As John of Salisbury so famously said,
- “We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours.”
(Mr. Johnston) Next the students will recite the PREAMBLE to the CONSTITUTION of the STATE of NORTH CAROLINA, another important document in the defense of our LIBERTY. Following the PREAMBLE, our 1st graders will recite a few key points from the NC Constitution.
ALL – PREAMBLE to the NC Constitution
We, the people of the State of North Carolina,
grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations,
for the preservation of the American Union and the existence of our civil, political and
and acknowledging our dependence upon Him
for the continuance of those blessings to us and our posterity,
do, for the more certain security thereof and for the better government of this State, \
ordain and establish this Constitution
1st Grade – Excerpts from the NC Constitution
- We hold it to be self-evident that all persons are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor, and the pursuit of happiness.
- All political power is vested in and derived from the people; all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.
- All power of suspending laws or the execution of laws by any authority, without the consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights and shall not be exercised.
- The people have a right to assemble together to consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to the General Assembly for redress of grievances; but secret political societies are dangerous to the liberties of a free people and shall not be tolerated.
- All persons have a natural and inalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences, and no human authority shall, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience.
- Every citizen of this State owes paramount allegiance to the Constitution and government of the United States, and no law or ordinance of the State in contravention or subversion thereof can have any binding force.
- Freedom of speech and of the press are two of the great bulwarks of liberty and therefore shall never be restrained, but every person shall be held responsible for their abuse.
- The people of this State have the inherent, sole, and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police thereof, and of altering or abolishing their Constitution and form of government whenever it may be necessary to their safety and happiness; but every such right shall be exercised in pursuance of law and consistently with the Constitution of the United States.
- The people have a right to the privilege of education, and it is the duty of the State to guard and maintain that right.
(Mr. Johnston) We will close with two familiar songs. The first one, THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND recognizes our unity and blessed privilege to live in this land… followed by GOD BLESS AMERICA, a song that calls out to God for His continued hand of mercy upon us.
All – This Land is Your Land
All – God Bless America
(Mr. Johnston) Prayer