Our Programs of Service> Americanism

Get Out the Vote!

Freedom Shrine

Freedom Shrine Documents

One Nation Under God

Project GIVEAKIDAFLAGTOWAVE

Proudly We Hail

Recommended Project: Give Me Liberty

Recommended Project: Liberty Day

Printed Materials

 

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Lincolnland District Americanism

In January of 1981, Project GiveAKidAFlagToWave was spearheaded. This is a concerted effort to educate the public hundreds at a time by distributing Exchange’s hallmark flag brochure along with miniature American flags. The project is intended for parades and other events where crowds assemble.


The 1990s were marked by a disturbing trend of low voter turnout. Voting gives every citizen the opportunity to monitor the actions of elected officials and determine how local tax dollars are spent. Yet half of Americans were not participating in the democratic process. The Get Out the Vote Program was established in 1996 to combat this trend. With this program exchange clubs can provide more convenient opportunities for voters to register, thereby encouraging more citizens to vote.

There are no guarantees for the future of our democracy or the stability of our world. As in the past, it will take hard work and dedication to protect the freedoms we cherish. Education is the key. Exchange leaders take the task of public education seriously, and hope your club will do the same. The tumultuous struggles of world powers in the twentieth century have done little to guarantee a peaceful future for the majority of the world’s people. However, there’s one country in modern times that people flock to for safety, freedom and opportunity — the United States of America. It is hard for Americans to imagine the horrors of modern struggles over religious and ethnic differences, the very differences we embrace.

Exchange’s Americanism programs were born in the aftermath of World War II. At that time, patriotism was unquenchable, and Exchangites joined veterans and other civic groups in heralding the rich blessings of democracy. In 1949, dedicated Exchangites founded the Freedom Shrine project. This collection of historic document replicas is the most educational of Americanism projects and an overpowering visual illustration of democracy at work. Milestones of Freedom was adopted in 1972 to ensure that the enriching documents of the Freedom Shrine are read and appreciated by school children, the future leaders of our country. Exchangites celebrate May as Freedom Shrine Month.

In 1964, Exchangites adopted the One Nation Under God program. November marks this month-long celebration of the precious freedom Americans have to worship as they choose. One Nation Under God programs complement Veteran’s Day well, and members are encouraged to include veterans in the events.

In 1976, during the 200th anniversary of the world’s most successful democracy, Exchangites founded the Proudly We Hail program. This is a grass-roots effort to recognize community members and businesses who proudly fly the American flag on a regular basis. Recipients are awarded the Proudly We Hail plaque to display in their homes or businesses.

These projects, such as promoting pride in country, respect for the flag and appreciation of our freedoms are the primary purposes of Exchange's Americanism programs. These time-tested activities afford every Exchange Club the opportunity to create greater community awareness of the privileges of American citizenship, and all clubs are urged to actively participate in them.

Other Americanism projects include the Flag Box, Parade Floats and the 9/11 Remembrance and Healing Field. For more information on how to implement Exchange's Americanism projects, see the Americanism Projects Guide. For information on purchasing Americanism project supplies see the Exchange Marketplace. To search for an Americanism project, see the Idea Exchange Service Project Search.

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Get Out the Vote!

The real political power in this country lies with people who have never used it—the people who don't vote. The National Exchange Club has developed this project to encourage Americans to "Get Out the Vote." Americans are given the freedom of choice—to choose which candidate to elect or whether to vote at all. An alarming number of citizens are choosing the second option, leaving only a handful of people to decide who will run our country. Through this exciting program, clubs will educate and encourage people not only to register, but to cast their vote on election day.

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The Freedom Shrine

The Freedom Shrine is an impressive, permanently mounted collection of 30 of the most important and historic American documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Gettysburg Address. These remarkable documents serve as windows to the world of America's proud past. They show our nation's youth the strength and courage of their forefathers by allowing them to read, with their own eyes, the immortal words of inspired Americans who so decisively changed the course of history.

The objective of Exchange is to install a Freedom Shrine in every junior and senior high school in the nation. However, Freedom Shrines have also found places of honor in universities, libraries, state capitols, airports, city halls and other public places where they can be studied and admired.

While Freedom Shrines may be presented at any time of the year, Exchange Clubs are especially urged to conduct at least one presentation during the month of May—Freedom Shrine Month. For more information on the Freedom Shrine, visit the Virtual Freedom Shrine Web site. For purchasing information see the Exchange Marketplace

An outstanding companion to the Freedom Shrine is the Milestones of Freedom program. Consisting of special quizzes based on the Freedom Shrine documents, the program encourages youngsters to gain a deeper understanding of these documents and their importance in the development of the American way of life. The Milestones of Freedom program is conducted in cooperation with local schools. Students posting the top scores are presented with distinctive Liberty Bell Medallion awards by the sponsoring Exchange Club.

Freedom Shrine Documents

  • 1620 The Mayflower Compact
  • 1776 The Declaration of Independence – Jefferson’s Rough Draft
  • 1776 The Declaration of Independence
  • 1776 Benjamin Franklin’s Epitaph
  • 1778 Patrick Henry’s Instructions to George Rogers Clark
  • 1782 Washington’s Letter to Colonel Nicola
  • 1783 The Treaty of Paris
  • 1787 The Northwest Ordinance
  • 1787 Washington’s Copy of the Constitution
  • 1787 U.S. Constitution
  • 1789 Washington’s First Inaugural
  • 1789 The Bill of Rights
  • 1796 Washington’s Farewell
  • 1801 Jefferson’s First Inaugural
  • 1814 The Star Spangled Banner
  • 1815 Jackson’s Letter Describing the Battle of New Orleans
  • 1823 The Monroe Doctrine
  • 1863 The Emancipation Proclamation
  • 1863 The Gettysburg Address
  • 1865 Lincoln’s Second Inaugural
  • 1865 Lee’s Letter Accepting Washington College Presidency
  • 1865 The Thirteenth Amendment
  • 1874 Account of the Proceedings of the Susan B. Anthony Trial
  • 1907 Theodore Roosevelt’s Letter on Cuba
  • 1913 Wilson’s First Inaugural
  • 1920 The Nineteenth Amendment
  • 1941 F.D.R.’s Four Freedoms Speech
  • 1943 Letter Naming Eisenhower Supreme Commander
  • 1944 General McAuliffe’s “Christmas Message
  • 1945 German Instrument of Surrender, World War II
  • 1945 Instrument of Surrender in the Pacific
  • 1961 J.F.K.’s “Ask Not ...” Speech
  • 1963 Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” Speech

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One Nation Under God

This powerful program not only aims to increase appreciation of our rich religious heritage, but also seeks to remind Americans that we must always trust in a higher power for guidance, protection and strength. The famous words of the program's title are, of course, taken from the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. One Nation Under God Month is observed annually during November. Exchange Clubs can implement this program in a variety of worthwhile ways, such as organizing community-wide prayer breakfasts, distributing pamphlets describing the American Flag's history and proper display, sponsoring One Nation Under God essay or poster contests in schools and encouraging attendance at religious services.

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Project GIVEAKIDAFLAGTOWAVE

Just as its tongue-twisting title suggests, this popular projects involves the distribution of small American flags to youngsters at parades, fairs, picnics, school events or other community happenings that generate large crowds. The flags are absolutely free to the children and can make a great souvenir of the occasion.

This is an easily implemented and effective program designed to cultivate a deeper sense of patriotism and to heighten young Americans' appreciation and admiration for our country's flag. Flags with National Exchange Club identification are available from the supply department.

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Proudly We Hail

No symbol better signifies our nation's greatness or inspires respect and love of country than our American flag—the Stars and Stripes. That is why The National Exchange Club encourages all Americans to properly fly the flag as an ongoing, highly visible expression of that respect. To accomplish this simple goal, Exchange has an effective program known as Proudly we Hail. It encourages regular display of the flag by individuals, commercial establishments and industries by honoring them through the presentation of a specially designed plaque. Every club member can participate in the program because it is the individual member who watches for and nominates potential recipients. This outstanding program promotes Americanism as well as community recognition by the sponsoring Exchange Club.

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Recommended Project: Give Me Liberty

Helping fifth-grade students gain greater appreciation and knowledge of their American heritage is the goal of the "Give Me Liberty" program, developed by the Exchange Club of Mesquite, Nev. The project won the Outstanding Service Project Award--Americanism in 2000.

Working with teachers at schools throughout the community, clubs gave students "blue books," containing facts on American historical documents, flags, geography, presidents, and more. When the students successfully demonstrated their knowledge of the material, they received red, white and blue "Give Me Liberty" T-shirts. Towards the end of the school year, all participating students were recognized at a special assembly, where they were awarded "Give Me Liberty" eagle trophies.

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Recommended Project: Liberty Day

Liberty Day, endorsed by The National Exchange Club, is gathering momentum nationwide. More and more organizations are taking part in this volunteer effort to increase knowledge about our nation’s founding documents, with Liberty Day Kids doing the teaching. This exceptional Americanism activity is "just right" for Exchange Clubs looking for a new way to increase appreciation of our nation’s heritage.

Liberty Day has been organizing activities that help children learn about the U.S. Constitution. One of the most successful is called Liberty Day Kids. The Liberty Day organization has been conducting this program in a variety of locations for more than a year. Their goal is to kick off a major nationwide effort.

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Printed Materials

National Headquarters has many printed materials to assist clubs in their efforts to better their communities through our Programs of Service. Download the Americanism Projects Guide. Please call 800-XCHANGE or e-mail info@nationalexchangeclub.org for more information.

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Lincolnland District 2011