Michael Pero, 7th Grade, Southern Highlands Preparatory School, Las Vegas

The interesting thing about the state of Nevada is that “All for Our Country” wasn’t our first state motto. The first motto for our state was “Volens et Potens” which is Latin for “Willing and Able”. This motto suggested that as a state we were willing and able to do anything for our country. In 1866, the motto was changed to “All for Our Country” and it makes me believe that we would do anything to support the United States of America.

Many people believe that Nevada was made a state because of our mineral wealth especially because of our silver deposits. In fact, the reason we became a state was more likely due to the fact that Abraham Lincoln needed votes. Not only votes to win the Presidential election in 1864, but the votes needed to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution to end slavery. Nevada was a free state so it would add another vote in favor of the Amendment. The motto “All for Our Country” makes me think that Nevada wanted the United States back together and the war to end. By supporting Abraham Lincoln and the 13th Amendment, Nevada played a role in helping bring the country back together as the United States of America instead of having it stay split into the North and South.

When I think of the motto “All for Our Country”, it makes me realize how important it is to be the UNITED States of America. It suggests that the whole is more important than the individual parts. On one hand, I think that is true, but on the other, the country as a whole can only be as strong as its individual parts or states. Every state should do its part to support the United States of America. The stronger we are as a state, the more we can contribute to the strength of the United States. The stronger the United States is, the better the individual states can be. It means working together and cooperating towards the common goal of staying a strong state and country.

One of the biggest ways that we can support our country is to grow our state. By bringing new businesses to our state we can create jobs. When there are lots of people moving to our state, it means that we need places to live and this means jobs for construction workers. It also means that we need new schools and more teachers. We need more doctors and people to work in offices. All of these people will then pay taxes to the government. All of these people will then buy things from businesses in the state. This will make more people want to move to Nevada and start businesses. The government can then use this money to not only benefit Nevada but to benefit the United States. If Nevada stays strong then it can help states that aren’t doing as well. This will then keep the United States stronger as a whole.

I like the fact that Nevada changed its motto from “Willing and Able” to “All for Our Country”. To me, it makes me remember why we became a state and a country in the first place, Nevada became a state to help make sure that the North and South were reunited back into the United States of America. The United States of America was created because we were unhappy with British rule and we wanted the freedom to be our own country and make our own rules. Our motto “All for Our Country” should be a reminder to all of us that we have to keep our state strong in order to keep our country strong.