On Thursday Oct. 26, Morgan High School staged an event to help educate and remind our community about our history, rights, and freedoms related to government. Morgan County resident Lydia Nuttall worked with our local government to bring this event to our community to celebrate the 225th Anniversary of America’s Constitution. The Ellis Island program presented history from our founding fathers as well as from the famous Island that welcomed millions of immigrants from 1892 to 1954.
Every citizen should vote. However, key presenter Wade C. Alexander stressed Americans should not stop there. In addition, our country needs citizens to get involved in local government. When individuals get involved and work together in neighborhoods and cities “that is where it starts,” said Alexander. Alexander repeated throughout his presentation that many people sacrificed and worked to have “what you and I have every day.”
“Get to know the constitution, follow the constitution,” Alexander encouraged. He also said to expect our leaders to do the same. In order to know and follow the constitution he explains we need to read it. The Constitution, Alexander suggests, is not to be read like a novel and put down. Rather it should be studied. The constitution is not as long as people think. The original length is a mere 4,167 words or about six pages, but today includes 27 amendments.
Alexander works for Roots of Freedom, a nonprofit business dedicated to educating the public about our government and the history behind it.
Mayor Jim Egbert stated that when Lydia Nuttall approached the city council with a proposal to host the event, they were happy to support the idea. Mayor Egbert and the city council felt the program “provided a service for all of the community.” The council unanimously voted to support the program as well as historical stories that have been distributed throughout businesses Morgan and on Morgan City’s website.
“These are wonderful stories about heroes that really truly lived,” Nutall says of those featured in the monthly stories. Nuttall has put extensive research into each of the “Forgotten American Family Night” stories. Each month a different story teaches about an event in our history along with promoting a positive character trait. They are written in an easy lesson format for school and home use. Nuttall will finish the year out with November and December editions. These stories may or may not be available on the website after that point. Nutall recommends downloading the lessons while they are free and still accessible. She hopes giving the youth heroes to look up to in their lives will make a difference. She has found that good behavior that has been taught in the home is rewarded at school. These stories are meant to teach positive characteristics.
During the event 10 different milestones were covered. Thirty-two volunteers from our community joined the effort to help in the three different stations.
The 10 milestones were: Liberty Is Worth Fighting For, The Rights Of The People Are Superior To The Powers Of Government, Liberty is More Important Than Security, The Foundation For Good Government, Support Of Our Military, Having Hope In America Even When All Looks Lost, Religious Freedom In America, Recognizing the Constitution As The Supreme Law Of Our Land, Understanding Our Natural Rights, and Pledging Our Allegiance.
Congressman Rob Bishop braved the elements traveling on the snowy roads to attend the evening’s events. Bishop said he thought it sounded like a wonderful event and could really appreciate it because he was a former history teacher. Bishop was happy to receive the invitation to the event and was impressed with our community sponsoring an event like this. He is unaware of any similar event sponsored by another community.
Bishop, currently serving as Utah’s District 1 representative, sat unassumingly in the back of each rotation and enjoyed the presentations as well as the printed material provided. Each of the different presentations focused on one element.
“Everyone is individual,” Bishop said when asked which element he thought was most important. “Each will affect them differently.” He explained that depending on what an individual’s current circumstances and what their life events are, will determine what will be important to the individual.
Rob Bishop was not the only notable state representative that attended last week’s event. Mel Brown, a member of the Utah House of Representatives over Morgan; LaVar Christensen, also of the Utah House of Representatives; Tami Pyfer, a member of the State Board of Education; Judge Carolyn McHugh of the Utah Supreme Court of Appeals, and Dianne Browning, a representative of Senator Orrin Hatch’s office joined our community for a night of education.
Download a copy of the Forgotten American Family Night Stories at www.morgancityut.gov. Look on the lower left hand side for links to the monthly stories.