We watched the Inaugural Address last week. It wasn’t just a passive activity. We watched the respectful and peaceful passing of power from one president to the next that has occurred now 45 times. We studied the Oath of Office, breaking down each of the words to completely understand what it means. For those of you who need a refresher, it states in the Constitution this:
Oath of Office
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
The purpose of the inaugural address is to bring the country together and lay a framework, however general, as to where we are going as a nation. At the end of the Inaugural Address, I immediately shut off the news feed before all the commentary began. I simply wanted students to listen to the speech and come to their own conclusions without the political banter of one side or the other influencing their initial thoughts. We as a class had a discussion about what they thought were the main points of the speech and then I asked them to write their own inaugural address. If they had the microphone, what would they tell the American people?
Here are some of their thoughts and ideas.
First, my favorite opening line:
“Thank you all. It ‘s a pleasure to be the new President of the United States of America. Thank you to the former presidents for taking care of our nation. Now it’s time to put my two cents in.” Asli
Here is a sampling of what was said…
“I’m glad that people still believe that America can change and be better. In this moment, we all need to come together no matter what race you are or what background you come from. We must come together to bring America to it’s strongest point.” Tatiana
“I will make college less expensive because I know now education matters for everyone’s future dreams and goals. ” Yanaili
” I will do my job to help you all. I won’t say I will be perfect, but I will do my best to make you safe and bring jobs. I will fight for all the people in America, and I promise to do my best to support you.” Evee
“To the American people, as our nations 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said,” The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Unfortunately though, I was not alive during FDR’s presidency, but his words moved me and gave me strength. I believe we should not fear the unknown, or anything for that matter, an that the future is in our reach and that we should grasp it without hesitation.” Johny
“We have passion and intelligence to do whatever we put our minds to, we have the drive. We strive for freedom. We strive for our voices to be heard, and we strive to make our world a better place. Together as a nation we can and will do whatever we put our minds to. With all of our unique and creative minds the world will change.” Ashley
“Higher education will become more affordable for those who want to take it seriously. The education system will be improved to teach kids in their own way at their own pace. Men and women will no longer be paid a different amount for the same work. People will be heard and will have a voice in making decision to benefit the country. I will try to do good and help others. I want you to remember me as the president that did their best.” David
“I will build new roads, highways, railways and laws. I will repair the parks and schools. This will add jobs.” Enesto PG
‘I will defend boys and girls who are different color so they don’t deal with racism. Also, so people have equal rights and threat each other with respect. I will help those in need and help their families who are sick and need medical help. I will give those medical insurance for those who can’t afford it and need it. My important point for our country is we help those who can’t help themselves.” Jocelyn
“I want to help change how people see each other, because we are all the same even if we have different skin colors or are a different gender, or don’t look how people think they should. Inside we are all the same.” Destiny
“I want this country to be the best it can be. I believe anything can be accomplished together with passion, perseverance, and grit. As President, I will try to make the country work together to be the best.” Leo
These are idealists, dreamers, our future. There will be those that read this and be tempted to down play their sincerity, or question how we will pay for this or that. But in the end, kids have it right. We need to work together. We need to keep people healthy, educate them, provide safe neighborhoods, and create an economy that allows everyone to take care of their families. I for one. am excited to be part of supporting these young minds to grow up and be part of our democratic process.