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A Friendly Wager—Patriot Style
Copyright © 2013 by Daniel Brigman

Like a lot of you, I have a couple of friends with whom I can talk about government differently than with my other friends. You know what I mean…the one who doesn’t look at you funny when you mention the “grassy knoll.” The type of friend we can say what we really think.

One of my “truth-friends” is Steve. Steve and I have the most insightful discussions right in our living room. At least we think so. The other day we got to talking about public schools. We both had definitive opinions. The Founding Fathers came up. Specifically the “shot heard ’round the world.” Steve is a little older than I and can remember going to school and saying the Lord’s Prayer and learning about the American Revolutionary War. He most certainly knew the “shot” was fired in Lexington/Concord when the British soldiers came to disarm the Americans (“colonists”) in 1775. It was the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

(Rudyard Kipling, Hymn sung at the Completion of the Concord Monument, April 19, 1836).

This discussion turned animated when I told him that I didn’t learn much of anything like that when I went to school. He was shocked.

Pretty soon it turned to a friendly wager. I told him I believed that if he was to ask his teenage and young adult children what happened at Lexington and Concord they wouldn’t have the first idea. He couldn’t comprehend such a thought. This went back and forth and soon lunch was wagered on the question.

He called his high school daughter…after daddy/daughter pleasantries it went something like this:

Steve: Have you ever heard of the “shot heard ‘round the world?”

Daughter: No. (awkward pause) Should I have?

Steve: (The wrinkles of his forehead burrowed in perplexity) Do you know what happened at Lexington and Concord that is significant for America?

Daughter: No. (more awkward pauses and more burrowing)

After a hurried explanation and a “We’ll talk more about this later”, the conversation was over. He called his other daughter. Similar results: you could hear crickets. He had one more kid he could call but he didn’t bother. He put his phone down on the couch and sat back in the seat. He let out one of those sighs of parental disappointment and asked; “Where would you like to go for lunch”?

We both shook our heads. Steve said a couple curse words. Later we found out his high school daughter has a United Nations multi-week program every year in school. The kids are given different countries to represent and learn about United Nations government. Now we were really concerned. Not only are schools neglecting basic and important information about the founding of our Nation they are promoting the loss of sovereignty through a United Nations educational program. Wow!

The moral of this story is to never overestimate the educational accuracy of our public schools. That being said, we must understand that if we want our children to learn history and value the foundation of this Country then you might have to be the one who takes the bull by the horns. It is becoming more obvious our schools can no longer be trusted with such an important task. If our children don’t know about the foundation of our Country, then how can it be expected to endure for future generations?

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