Australian Nick Adams borrowed a quarter from one of the students attending his assembly at Custer Elementary School on Monday morning. He held up the coin and asked the crowd “What three things can be found on every American coin?”
Numerous answers were shouted out from the crowd, including “the head of a president,” “the date” and “United States of America,” but, while technically correct, those weren’t the answers Adams was looking for.
Finally, one of the children said, “In God we trust.”
“Right,” said Adams in his unmistakable Aussie accent.
Someone else said “Liberty” which was also correct. But no one (not even this reporter) came up with the third phrase—“e pluribus unum”—even after Adams had given several hints.
Adams went on to say that the Latin phrase means “Out of many one” and explained that it describes one of the founding principles of the United States—that people from all over the world, like himself, who become American citizens are unified under the U.S. constitution.
Adams’ visit to Custer and Hermosa schools is timely because his book on the constitution for elementary students is being used in fifth-grade classes here this year. He was invited by the Custer County Republican Women.
The four-time best-selling author and Fox News commentator was born and raised in Australia but is a legal immigrant to America, receiving a rare Extraordinary Ability Green Card.
Adams told the students he is the founder and executive director of The Foundation for Liberty and American Greatness (FLAG). The organization visits elementary, middle and high schools to “provide training to increase patriotic pride and bridge the major civics deficiency that currently exists.”
The book being used in Custer County classrooms was produced by FLAG and is a “kid-friendly” version of the constitution entitled “Student’s Constitution.”
Giving the quarter back to the student from whom he had borrowed it, Adams told the students that as long as they have even one penny in their pocket they will always have a reminder of three things the United States stands for.
Adams went on to quiz the 4th through 6th-grade students about famous Americans like Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney and Thomas Edison who had experienced numerous failures before finally finding success in their fields.
He reminded the students that in America failure doesn’t mean the end of dreams and is not held against a person.
“This is a country that is made for your success,” Adams said.
He said much of the reason for that atmosphere of upward mobility can be traced back to the nation’s founding documents and especially the constitution.
“The U.S. constitution is the greatest political document ever written,” he said, adding that many countries have had constitutions, but he said the U.S. constitution is totally unique among them.
“Every time a country has written a constitution,” he said, “it has laid out the powers of the government and the limits of the individual.” However, he said the U.S. constitution is just the opposite.
“We limited government’s control over us,” he said.
“I want you to be proud of America,” Adams concluded. “The United States of America is the greatest country in the world. I don’t want anyone to get in your face and tell you, you should be ashamed to be an American.”
After finishing his presentation at CES, Adams traveled across the county for a similar event at Hermosa school.