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Roger Gitlin: What makes America so special

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Posted: June 26, 2009 8:52 p.m.
Updated: June 27, 2009 4:55 a.m.

I just wrote a check to Steve Petzold of Saugus.

Who is Steve Petzold?

He and a few of his supporters are sponsoring an entry in Santa Clarita's annual Fourth of July Parade through Newhall entitled "American Values."

Steve is also a Pragerphile, a devotee of conservative commentator Dennis Prager, who recently released a powerful video about what makes America special.

It's called "The American Trinity." Go to, hit the search icon and type in the title. In the video, Prager talks about:
n Liberty: the freedom to choose;

n In God we trust: rights come from the Creator, not from governments;

n E Pluribus Unum: from the many, one.

Prager notes that while Americans are racially, ethnically and culturally diverse, we are all Americans.

Please do not misunderstand: "The American Trinity" is not a religious message. It is a cultural message. "The American Trinity" can be found on all American coins, including the Thomas Jefferson nickel, which will be generously distributed by Petzold and fellow Pragerphiles along the July 4 parade route.

I am making a small contribution to the group to help offset cost of the hundreds of nickels being distributed, all attached to a card telling us why America is so special and why our shared values unite us.

The card will also display the Web site address of the Prager video, which is compelling and crystallizes the message of the uniqueness of America.

The message ties in appropriately with this year's parade theme, "Fun in Santa Clarita."

The "American Values" entry will display a banner which proudly personifies the spirit of Thomas Jefferson and the framers of our Constitution: "All Americans have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Adam Schulhofer, a Canyon High teacher, and his wife Kelli are donating their large Dodge pickup truck as the vehicle that displays the "American Values" theme. Thank you to the Schulhofers.

Charan Anand of Postnet in Saugus is graciously donating the design setup time and making banners at cost. Charan is an immigrant from India who greatly appreciates the American dream.

I am personally going to go by Charan's store on Bouquet Canyon, next to Chase Bank, and thank him for his involvement. Those who prefer may send him an e-mail at Thank you, Charan.

Any excess funds donated to Steve Petzold will be donated to Prayer Angels for the Military, which assembles and sends gift boxes to our troops.

Great idea, Steve. I appreciate your involvement in standing up and telling Santa Clarita why being an American is so special.

I plan to walk with Steve and the Pragerphiles. Care to join us?

See you at the parade.

Roger Gitlin is a Santa Clarita Valley teacher and founding member of the Santa Clarita Valley Independent Minutement. He can be reached at His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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