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Saccone brings crusade to Scottdale Library

| Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, 9:02 p.m.
Paul Paterra | The Independent-Observer
State Rep. Rick Saccone speaks with students from Vern Montessori School at the Scottdale Public Library Feb. 12.

State Rep. Rick Saccone has a mission to make sure “In God We Trust” is not forgotten as the national motto and, as such is, featured in schools.

Saccone, R-Elizabeth Township, brought that message, as well as copies of his book “God in Government,” to the Scottdale Public Library Feb. 12.

“(Students) learn about the care of the flag, they learn about the Pledge of Allegiance with ‘Under God' in it,” Saccone said. “They don't know, they really don't (about the motto).”

In October, Saccone proposed legislation to have “In God We Trust” placed in every school in the Commonwealth.

“‘In God We Trust' is on our currency, it's over the speaker's chair in the U.S. capitol and it's also on the front steps of our capitol in Harrisburg,” Saccone said while speaking in the library. “‘In God We Trust' is in a lot of places, so there's no reason it can't be in our schools. It is our national motto. ... It should be everywhere. We should honor that and we should celebrate that.”

Saccone explained the story about the motto, which actually stems back to James Pollock, Pennsylvania's 13th governor.

“Before he was governor he was a U.S. congressman and as a U.S. congressman he had the good fortune of taking a room in a boarding house with another freshman congressman by the name of Abraham Lincoln,” Saccone explained. “They became good friends and when Lincoln became president he appointed James Pollock Director of the U.S. Mint. James Pollock wanting to honor our country and our devotion to God suggested we out ‘In God We Trust' on our coins....It's been on our coins ever since.”

“In God We Trust” first appeared on U.S. coins April 22, 1864, meaning the 150th anniversary of that date is just around the corner. President Dwight Eisenhower signed a law in 1956 that “In God We Trust” become the national motto with the unanimous consent of Congress. It started appearing on paper currency in 1957.

Saccone also had posters on hand detailing the history of the National Motto.

“That's what we're celebrating here with the posters,” Saccone said. “It's the only motto we've ever had....I want to teach our students that, because it is a great Pennsylvania history story.”

Saccone said the “In God We Trust” museum is under construction in Milton, Northumberland County, with the hope it will be opened by April 22.

“It will become the national museum for our motto,” Saccone said.

“God in Our Government,” Saccone said, states that a look at the history of government will always show God's presence.

“I went through history to document the evidence to show how God has always been part of our government,” Saccone said. “We have to get educated, we have to be smart, we have to explain to people what our Godly heritage is, remind them of our Godly heritage and defend it and that's why I wrote the book.”

The representative said this is very prevalent in Harrisburg where there are more than 50 biblical references, be it in art or carved into the walls.

Copies of the book were presented to the library, the Southmoreland School District and other area schools such as St. John the Baptist Catholic School, Mt. Carmel Christian School, Armbrust Christian Academy and Verna Montessori School.

Saccone also spoke at the meeting of the Scottdale Kiwanis after the library event.

Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or