ELIDA — The Bill of Rights. The Declaration of Independence. The Emancipation Proclamation. The Gettysburg Address. All these historical documents have a place in shaping the country and its history.
Members of the Lima Exchange Club believe those documents and 15 others should be on display in every high school in Allen County.
The latest to have what is called a Freedom Shine is Elida High School, thanks the club and its members.
“It gives the students a chance to see, firsthand, what some of the critical documents during the founding of our country looked like when they were written,” said Mike Mullens, of the Lima Exchange Club.
Elida Superintendent Don Diglia said the documents will serve as a daily reminder to the students of the country’s founding freedoms.
“Our kids will walk by these documents every day,” Diglia said. “Even if they don’t stop by and read an entire text, they are indirectly seeing these documents.”
Diglia and Mullens said that is a big deal in a digital world, where everyone is online or everything is in an electronic format.
“We don’t expect people to stop and read all these documents word for word, but those studying in civics or history class, they don’t have to go to a library or look it up online. They can go out to the hallway,” Mullens said.
Even the location of the shrine in the high school was well thought out.
“We intentionally selected this spot in our new school building because it’s right between our social studies wing and language arts department and in front of our media center,” Diglia said.
The old Elida High School building had a similar display, but after the new high school opened three years ago it lacked a Freedom Shrine. The documents on plaques at the old high school were so faded, a new set was needed and appropriate, Mullens said.