This Nation Wasn’t Founded by Heroes

by JN Fenwick, author, former American History teacher


This nation wasn’t founded by heroes. It was founded by men who were human and flawed, but who sought to create something better than themselves.


Constitutional Convention, Philadelphia, 1787 | Image courtesy of Shutterstock

This nation wasn’t defended by heroes. It was defended by brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, sons and daughters. Every day people who rose up when called, to fight, to defend, to pay the ultimate sacrifice for a cause greater than themselves. It still is.


The Civil War, 1861-1865, was fought to preserve the Union and expand freedom for all. | Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Countless generations of immigrants didn’t pour into this country because they were forced to. They came because they chose to. Because they believed that in America they would not only escape the persecution, oppression, and poverty of their homelands, they would also have opportunities far beyond any they could imagine. They came for a better life. And they found one. They still do.


Arriving at Ellis Island in 1907, immigrants were searching for a better life. | Image courtesy of Shutterstock

This soil we build our lives upon isn’t great because it’s American. It’s great because of the blood, sweat, and tears poured into it. The bastion of liberty and freedom built upon it. And the ideals that form the foundation of all we are, and all we aspire to be.


The American dream is far more than just an ideal, it’s an opportunity that exists no where else in the world. | Image courtesy of Shuttetstock

What’s magnificent about this country isn’t just shining from sea to shining sea. It’s in the hearts and minds of its citizens. The morals and principles we live by. The lessons we’ve learned through both failure and success. The wisdom we pass on to our children. The faith with which we carry on. No matter the obstacles.


We are America. | Image courtesy of Shuttetstock

The future of this country isn’t a given. If America is to prevail, it is we who must stand up. We who must raise our voices. We who must defend these principles and guard this shared heritage. It is we who must call on all those who’ve come before on behalf of all those yet to come, to ensure that this “government of the people, by the people, and for the people does not perish from the earth.”

We are the people. We are America.

The Gettysburg Address, 1863 | Image courtesy of Shuttetstock