Sydney Lin, 6th Grade, Hyde Park Middle School, Las Vegas

All for Our Country

Our state motto: is it “Battle Born”? “The Silver State”? “Volens et Potens”? Nope, none of those run-of-the-mill phrases are considered to be our official state motto.  Nevada’s state motto is “All for our country” and, as Nevadans, we should be proud of what we do to make Nevada a great state.

It was on February 24, 1866 that Nevada’s state legislature officially changed the motto on the seal to “All for Our Country,” replacing the hard to understand motto, “Volens et Potens,” which is Latin for “Willing and Able.” There is really no documented proof why the state legislature changed our motto, but it probably had to do with Nevada entering the Union during the Civil War.

Contrary to what most people think, Nevada did not become a state because the Union needed gold and silver.  Nevada became a state because Abraham Lincoln was running for president and was unsure that he would win. So Lincoln added Nevada as the 36th state eight days before the election occurred. With Nevada as a Union state, there were more soldiers to send into war. In total, Nevada sent 1,200 men to fight for what is right. President Lincoln also needed Nevada because the 13th amendment, the amendment to abolish slavery, was not very popular with Congress. Adding Nevada to the Union guaranteed another vote in the amendment’s favor. The motto might have originated during this time to show that Nevada is willing to sacrifice and give everything we can to our country.

I personally believe that our state motto fits who we are and what we do perfectly. Even after the Civil War took place, Nevada still obliges to “All for our country”.

During the Great Depression, Nevada proved to give everything to the country, as the motto states. The Boulder Canyon Project, better known as Hoover Dam, gave Americans jobs, hope, and hydroelectric power. Nevada has hosted top-secret training missions, hundreds of nuclear explosions, and became an imprisonment camp for the Japanese during World War II. We have sacrificed 197 troopers in World War I; 545 fallen soldiers in World War II; 33 servicemen in Korea; 151 warriors in Vietnam; and 79 fighters in the nation’s wars overseas since Sept. 11, 2001.

That is a lot of important deeds that our state has accomplished, and though what Nevadans today can do for their state may seem small, every action counts.

I think that one of the essentials to living in a great state is having a tight-knit, close community. This way, people know more people, care about each other, and have fun. Nevada is trying to bond people together by having community events and it’s a great idea. Also, having lots of reusable resources is a good plus for a great state. As Nevadans, we are lucky that we have as much wind and solar power as we do! Nevada also has Tesla Motors, which is a major advantage if we want a great state. It shows America that we have the resources to support a big company like that.

Something I can do to prove to the world that Nevada will do anything for their country is volunteering at local animal shelters, rescue missions, and helping in my community. To support the government, I should also vote at every election, when I am of age, of course. Following the laws are a must when showing that I understand the state motto. I should also thank veterans for their time in service and send cards to soldiers who are still in battle.

“Nevada has announced to the world – not to the country, but to the world – that we are ready to lead,” stated Governor Sandoval. I believe that our state motto, “All for our Country” goes perfectly with it!

 

Bibliography

Brean, Henry. “When it comes to Nevada’s state motto, confusion is born”. Las Vegas Review Journal. 19 June. 2014. 7 October. 2014 <http://www.reviewjournal.com/nevada-150/when-it-comes-nevada-s-state-motto-confusion-born>

Rocha, Guy. Myth #143: The Great Depression in Nevada. Nevada State Library and Archives.