What I Learned as an Intern with the Heritage Legacy Society

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Annuities, bequests, charitable trusts. When I started my internship at the Heritage Legacy Society office a few short months ago, these terms were somewhat confusing. Now, they have become inspiring.

At our nation’s core rests the belief that every individual has a right to liberty, a right for which we all must fight. Nowhere have I seen this better understood and demonstrated than through the efforts of our Heritage Legacy Society members. Just as the Constitution seeks to ensure the “blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” our members have sacrificed not only throughout their lifetimes, but have committed their time and resources to my generation.

Their giving has enabled my fellow interns and me to join the conservative movement that aims to return America to its founding principles. We have gained a better understanding of today’s most pressing issues through innovative briefings from policy experts and through leading Conservative conferences featuring today’s leaders. We have also looked at the past, appreciating the vision of our Founders through visits to the Capitol and Mount Vernon.

Most importantly, our members have also given us the opportunity to learn from them.

Whether conversing on the phone, assisting with gift annuities, or giving Heritage Foundation tours that take us to the very Wall of Freedom commemorating our Heritage Legacy Society members, our supporters have demonstrated their understanding that the size and form of the gift doesn’t matter, rather, it is the willingness to commit to our principles that gives this country hope.

We have inherited a legacy of liberty thanks to the dedication of American citizens such as our members. By their generosity, we have also gained the practical knowledge and equipping to continue spreading those values.

I will take my experiences back to Pennsylvania, and my friends will return to their campuses and home towns, equipped to hold our government and society accountable to the American Constitution. We have seen that it’s not only possible, but necessary to care for my generation to ensure that we preserve and increase freedom for generations to come.

Victor Davis Hanson and the Greatest Generation

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James Carafano. Photo: Chas Geer

James Carafano. Photo: Chas Geer

Heritage Foundation vice president James Carafano is a big fan of Victor Davis Hanson, the military historian and author of the popular book Carnage and Culture.

Hanson’s new lecture series about World War II is worth watching, Carafano writes at PJ Media:

Professor Hanson’s passion for World War II history drives a fascinating, entertaining and enlightening six-part video lecture from PJ Media’s Freedom Academy. (View the first installment here for $9.90.) The series covers the story of the war that shaped the modern world from its origins to its aftermath. . .

Many modern historians have abandoned the “big picture” issues of ideology and geopolitics as old-fashioned. They’ve moved on to more “interesting” studies like the role of gender in war.  Not so, Hanson.  He argues that the big issues are still big because they shaped the world we live in today. It makes no sense to ignore them, and Hanson doesn’t.  Instead, he “bothers” to explain, for example, how the Versailles Treaty led to the outbreak of the Second World War. The story is essential and, in Hanson’s hands, compelling.

Do you think the study of history has gotten off-course?

227 Years of the United States Constitution, Explained in One Must-Have Book

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Last week, America marked the 227th anniversary of the ratification of the United States Constitution.

To commemorate this milestone, The Heritage Foundation released the second edition of The Heritage Guide to the Constitution. This new edition includes updates to reflect new laws and court decisions that affect how the nation’s highest law impacts Americans.

The first edition of the Guide, which features clause-by-clause analysis of the entire Constitution from leading scholars, was published in 2005 to critical acclaim. It has sold more than 50,000 copies.

In 2012, Heritage published the full text online. Since then, The Heritage Guide to the Constitution Online has been visited over 1.3 million times. The hard copy of the book has sold over 50,000 copies.

The enormous popularity of our guide is proof of how relevant and revered the Constitution still remains.

Purchase your copy of the Guide‘s second edition, or read the full text online.

Did you celebrate Constitution Day? Tell us what makes you proud to carry on the mantle of liberty.

These 5 Photos from Heritage Members Will Be Featured in Heritage’s 2015 Calendar

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In early November, The Heritage Foundation will mail our 2015 calendar to all 600,000 Heritage members. And for the first time, this year’s calendar will feature photos taken by Heritage members and supporters.

The 2015 calendar will feature images that tell the story of what we love about America, the things we do outside of government in the cities and towns and countryside where we live, that make us the people we are. So we decided to ask our members for photos they’ve taken that match this theme.

More than 130 Heritage supporters submitted 282 photos in response to our call for submissions earlier this year. Our creative team, who produces the calendar, carefully reviewed all submissions and picked the five photos below.

Watch your mailbox for your Heritage calendar in mid-November!

Here are the photos selected:

January: Sandy Seaman–Austin, TX

Denali National Park, Alaska. Photo: Sandy Seaman

Denali National Park, Alaska Continue Reading »

Remembering September 11 and our American Heritage

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Over the last couple weeks, millions of incoming freshmen students have stepped foot into university classrooms for the first time. It’s hard to imagine that just 13 years ago in the fall of 2001 these same young people were just beginning elementary school. For many of them, 9/11 is nothing more than a vague memory, yet it would be hard to overstate the impact this event had on their most formative years.

These children don’t remember a world without Osama Bin Laden or al-Qaeda – a world without the hateful threat of terrorism floating darkly over their heads. They grew up during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and said goodbye as their older siblings went off to war. They came of age in a time of severe economic recession and watched as their fathers and mothers struggled to find work.

But despite having every reason to doubt our capabilities, to be wary of our enemies and to throw up their hands and settle for less, the youth of today are determined to build a strong, rich, independent America. They know that the American capacity for hard-work will keep this land prosperous. They know that the fierce independence that burns in our hearts will keep it free. And most importantly, they know and can rest assured that at its core America was founded on an idea that this is a land of liberty where every man can make for himself and his family the life they desire. One of our experts, Matthew Spalding, wrote:

Every nation derives meaning and purpose from some unifying quality—an ethnic character, a common religion, a shared history. The United States is different. America was founded at a particular time, by a particular people, on the basis of particular principles about man, liberty, and constitutional government.

Today the aptly named Freedom Tower in New York City stands 1,776 feet tall – a visual monument to our ability to pick ourselves up and struggle for even greater heights. Americans have shown over and over again that we will never give up and never surrender and certainly never cease striving to preserve our heritage of liberty. We truly are an exceptional country.

May God always bless America.

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum

The National September 11 Memorial and Museum opened May 21 to the public in New York City.

At Heritage, Rick Perry Calls Border Security ‘a Constitutional Obligation’

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“Defending our border is not a political option but a constitutional obligation,” Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) said last week at The Heritage Foundation.

Speaking to a packed audience that included 23 news cameras, Perry was critical of President Obama’s failed immigration policies.

The President has been anything but consistent in his reaction to the crisis at the border, he said in an address broadcast live on C-SPAN. When he should take executive action by enforcing immigration laws, he retreats. And his attempts to sidestep Congress and implement his unilateral immigration reform are examples of “aggressive overreach.” Continue Reading »

This Statement Helped Heritage Interns Win Their Debate With Cato

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Every summer, Heritage Foundation interns debate political philosophy with interns from the libertarian Cato Institute.

This debate is an opportunity for Heritage interns to refine their understanding of America’s first principles and how they apply to today’s most important issues.

Heritage interns were judged the winner of this year’s debate, in part because of the opening statement by intern Louis Cola.

Read his full remarks, below, and tell us what you think in the comments. Continue Reading »

Heritage Book Fair Raises $4,000 for Wounded Warrior Project

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Heritage Foundation interns pose with Angelise Schrader of Heritage’s Young Leaders Program, fourth from left, and a veteran representing the Wounded Warrior Project

Heritage Foundation staff and interns raised more than $4,000 this month for the Wounded Warriors Project through our fifth annual book fair.

Heritage staff and friends donated books, including books on history and conservative policy, which were then sold by members of Heritage’s Young Leaders Program. Proceeds were donated to Wounded Warriors, which works to aid injured veterans as they adjust to life after service.

The Wounded Warriors Project is of special significance to Heritage, since many Heritage staff members are veterans, and several currently serve in the National Guard or reserve units. Heritage believes strongly in both a strong national defense and in taking care of those who have sacrificed for our country.

Three With Heritage Ties Earn Spots on Red Alert Politics’ ’30 Under 30′ List

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Clockwise from top right: Alexandra Smith, Caitlin Poling, and Heather Pfitzenmaier. Photos: RedAlertPolitics

The Heritage Foundation’s Heather Pfitzenmaier and two former Heritage interns, Alexandra Smith and Caitlin Poling, have been selected for the annual Red Alert Politics “30 under 30” list, which recognizes rising young conservative stars.

“Heather’s understanding and commitment to conservative principles plus her enthusiasm and dedication to advancing great ideas to young leaders are attributes that make her shine as a leader,” said Heritage vice president Becky Norton Dunlop. “She is a consummate professional and is noticeably very personal and genuinely invested in each person she meets, making her an obvious role model for principled young people.”

Pfitzenmaier, an alumnus of Heritage’s intern program who directs Heritage’s Young Leaders Program, also received an honor from Forbes for being one of the young Americans making an impact on law and policy. She also received the 2012 Buckley Award from the Young Conservatives Coalition.

In an interview with Red Alert Politics, Pfitzenmaier explained why it’s  important for young conservatives to become involved in the movement: Continue Reading »

Speaking at Heritage, Gingrich Makes the Case for ‘Cheerful Persistence’

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Newt Gingrich speaks at Heritage July 23. Photo: Hillary Rosenjack

Newt Gingrich speaks at Heritage July 23. Photo: Hillary Rosenjack

Conservatives must adopt a positive message to win over the American people, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said today at The Heritage Foundation.

“We must be for positive things,” he said.

It’s a mistake to call November’s midterm election a “referendum on Obama,” Gingrich said. This negative approach helped leave the Republican Party without a House majority from 1944 to 1994, he said.

“If a Republican wins with a negative campaign, he has no consensus,” Gingrich explained.

But in 1994, Republicans maintained a “cheerful persistence” for conservative ideas.

There’s reason for optimism about the future, Gingrich added.

The millennial generation, those born after about 1980, has “crossed a technological threshold,” he said. While government remains mired in the past, technology is giving individuals more power in society. This gives conservatives an opening “to become the movement that offers a better future.”

Gingrich’s address in Heritage’s Allison Auditorium was part of Heritage’s “Lessons for Conservatives” lecture series.

In opening remarks, Heritage Founder Ed Feulner spoke highly of Gingrich, saying that he is “a unique find in Washington – articulate, charismatic, and loaded with ideas based on our conservative principles.”

Are you hopeful that the new generation can help sustain the conservative movement?  Tell us in the comments.

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