What it means to be an American:

School program to honor nation’s triumphs


Last year’s Americanism Program has American Legion Post members and local scouts presenting the flags.  (Times File Photo)

On the evening of Feb. 15 the Knights of Columbus hosted Fallon County’s 52nd annual Americanism Program in the Longfellow Gymnasium.

Master of ceremonies Steve Zachmann began the evening with the statement; “Liberty draws people from across the world to the shores of America.” He added that immigrants come to America to seek religious, economic, and political liberties.

Zachmann chronicled historic accounts of various immigrants arriving in America over the past decades. He spanned a timeline beginning with the arrival of the first Pilgrims in 1630 to the immigration of Vietnamese, Thai’s and Cambodians in 1980’s. Then he addressed the most current huddled masses of immigrants seeking refuge on our shores. He stated, “Today, thousands of refugees from the Middle East are forced out of their homelands. They are oppressed to the point of hopelessness. They long for the chance to go anywhere, anywhere else but there. They struggle and yet they must wait for liberty.”

He then stated, “We can discuss for hours, days, and maybe even weeks, the how and how soon of settling the latest immigration and refugee issues. One thing needs to be made clear and appreciated. America was founded on the creed of establishing and protecting liberty. That’s what the declaration of independence so boldly stated. What was radical at the time of the founding, was not merely the creation of a nation based upon a creed, but on a large part of that creed that was liberty itself.”

Zachmann reminded the audience of what a wonderful blessing it is to have our liberty. In closing he stated, “Let us be constantly cognizant of our wonderful liberty here in America. The America, which like the Statue of Liberty, i.e. the Lady in the Harbor, still beckons to the rest of the world. Let us appreciate it. Let us acknowledge it. So, that we can vigilantly keep it always and forever available to those who may seek it. Here in America. The Land of Liberty.”

Other organizations contributing to the success of this patriot event were The American Legion, The Legion Women’s Auxiliary, O’Fallon Men’s Choir, local Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts and musicians from the Baker High School Band and Vocal Choir.