I am pleased to continue the Jacksonville Bar Association’s long tradition of honoring military veterans and active service members during our November luncheon.
What our country annually commemorates as Veterans Day began as Armistice Day in 1919, a year after World War I effectively ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Nov. 11 is one of 365 days each year in which our citizens should remember the heavy price paid for our freedoms.
My wife strives to keep patriotism and military appreciation at the forefront of our family’s attention, instilling that mindset into her husband and the entire student body (three) at the McCarthy Boarding School for Boys.
Earlier this year, she utilized a lesser-known text expressing these very ideals. It was new to me, and I suspect will be new to you.
To keep national morale high despite the slogging nature of the Great War, a patriotic writing contest was held in 1917. The winning entry so impressed members of Congress that the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution, titled The American’s Creed, in 1918 to proclaim the virtues penned by the creed’s author, William Tyler Page.
The resolution and entry 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.”
The lawyer in me notes that this creed is named in the singular possessive. American’s. Not American (adjective) or Americans’ (plural possessive).
While veterans hope to inspire The American’s Creed viewpoint across the populace, those same veterans realize that they fought to preserve for each individual American the freedom to embrace or reject allegiance.
I choose to embody and espouse the virtues expressed in The American’s Creed. I choose to appreciate the freedoms I enjoy. I am grateful for the high price paid by those who serve and served in our armed forces to preserve for me those very freedoms.
I pledge allegiance, in general and at our next luncheon Nov. 15 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jacksonville Riverfront on the Downtown Southbank.
Register and partake in the fellowship. Indeed, the JBA builds community so you can better enjoy being a lawyer.
Consider wearing clothes that demonstrate patriotism.
Our ability to commune, to be lawyers and enjoy doing so, is due largely to the sacrifices of the military whom we will appreciate at our luncheon and hopefully every day thereafter.
Blane McCarthy is a certified circuit mediator at Miles Mediation & Arbitration in Jacksonville.