Director's Notes:


What is the meaning of the American flag?


Is there something unique, eternal, and indestructible in the American idea?  In our age of urban economic pressure and scientific relativism, Americans have increasingly expressed feelings of alienation and apathy and a greater need for spiritual meaning.  In this respect it is interesting that over the past 30 years it has been the concerns of individualism that have been primarily asserted.


In his victory speech, President-elect Obama spoke of our collective spirit:


“The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals -- democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.  That's the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow. “


Our union can be perfected.


In his September address at the Republican National Convention Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas told the story of Martha Cothren, a teacher at Joe T Robinson High School in Little Rock.  Determined that her students would not take their education or their privilege as Americans for granted she removed all the desks from her classroom and informed her students, "You get a desk in my classroom when you tell me how you earn it."  By the end of the day no one had guessed the right answer, not even those from the media that had come to get the story.   Then at the end of the day, into the classroom walked 27 veterans, each one carrying a school desk. "You don't have to earn your desks,” Martha said.  “These guys already did.”


Speak Out presents others who have sacrificed for the desks of Little Rock, and for America.


What responsibility does each of us hold?

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