If you have ever watched the Olympics on television or attended one in person, you know that a highlight of this prestigious event is the Opening Ceremony. This is a time when all the participating world-class athletes assemble by nation and walk into a large arena behind their nation's flag. My heart always swells with pride when I see "Old Glory," the flag of the United States of America.
One or more of the Olympic athletes is honored to carry our flag. They represent all the people of our nation, in our case more than 325 million Americans, plus those living in other countries. When I thought about this "symbolism," I realized that our mission of "changing our culture" and making our nation safe again needed a great school to represent us and carry our flag. It's obvious that our nation's schools are vital to our success.
I am pleased to report that our school will be Guy-Perkins School, located in northern Faulkner County. This small school, with an enrollment of 295 students, is known far and wide because they have been state champions in basketball, both boys and girls, a total of 15 times going back to 1984. To be sure, their trophy case is full, and because of this winning attitude they also excel in the classroom.
Guy-Perkins has a great faculty and, working as a team, teachers will make sure each student understands a variety of the life-changing concepts in our mission. These life-changing concepts include the "Law of Cause & Effect," how to love America, why it's important to graduate, why we must respect our nation's law-enforcement officers, how to form successful habits and reach goals, how to be responsible for their own needs, why it's important to be a reader, and how to know the value of their time.
Here is why our mission is so important. This past year we had a national increase in crime of more than 40 percent, with murder being a large part of that. The authorities have been shocked into realizing that it is time to do something about this major problem, and they are going to spend several billion dollars hiring more police and handing out longer prison sentences. This is simply working to improve methods of what we have been doing all the time. While starting at an early age, it will take longer, but we are working to produce better people. When schools across our country teach character, respect, integrity, and to love each other, we will see crime drastically reduced. This is our only long-term solution.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has -- Margaret Mead.
In time, we will have 100 million Americans involved and we will be successful in changing our nation's culture.