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Questions about America looked at PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nicholas Colglazier   

Dear Editor:

Bounty off the grill, gatherings with friends and family and of course fireworks all add up to a wonderful 4th of July celebration. But as we commemorate the anniversary of our independence and the birth of our country, what has made America so extraordinary? Why is it different from any other democracy in the world?

So, why is America unique? We have a unique value system. It is part of the reason people speak about American exceptionalism. The idea of American exceptionalism stems from its exceptional values. This value system can be called the “American Trinity.”

The “American Trinity” is the three columns of American values and astonishingly, it can be found on something most of us carry around every day, a coin. Every piece of American coinage carries these three values that make up the American values system: E Pluribus Unum, Liberty and In God We Trust.

E Pluribus Unum is Latin meaning: from many one. This means we don’t care about where you are from. We don’t care about your ethnic origins, racial origins or religious origins. From many one, if you work with us to make America, you are one of us. You are American simply by virtue of wanting to be American no matter your color, creed, religion or race. This is why the world knows us as the “Great Melting Pot.”

The second part is Liberty. Liberty gives each individual the right of free will. The right to behave subject to one’s own personal responsibility, rather than as a subject of a king or other ruler.

Liberty allows each American the freedom to be the best that one can be. It is liberty that enables you the freedom to use your talents, abilities and determination to be, with a little luck, as successful as possible.

Last but not least, In God We Trust. It is stated in the Declaration of Independence that we are endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights. America was founded on the belief that God is the source of our values and rights; it is not great thinkers or even government that give us our rights, but God. If God does not bestow these rights, then they can be taken by people because they were given by people.

If, instead, these rights are inherent in our creation, they cannot be justly taken from us by other authorities.

That is the “American Trinity.” It has been a guide throughout our nation’s history, helping to create the greatest and most free country ever known to man. But this is not something that comes instinctively in Americans. It is something that we must pass on and teach to every generation, because a society does not survive without reason.

For America to survive, its citizens must know the values it was founded upon, and a quick reminder may be jingling in your pocket. The American value system: E Pluribus Unum, Liberty and In God We Trust. The American Trinity.


Nicholas Colglazier