Our Mission

Our Mission:

The American Village serves the Nation as an educational institution whose mission is to strengthen and renew the foundations of American liberty and self-government by engaging and inspiring citizens and leaders, with a special emphasis on programs for young people.

 

Our Goals

Teach YouthTeach Youth the Vital Lessons of Liberty

Our young people cannot safeguard what they do not cherish. And they cannot cherish what they do not know.

The American Village is a nationally-pioneering classroom and American history and civics education center that has engaged and inspired over a half million students from Alabama and Southeastern states since opening its campus in 1999.  

Young people "step into history" and discover the power and drama of America's journey for independence, liberty, and self-government through experience-based academic programs related to American history, civics, and government.  

The American Village has embarked on an initiative to expand the number of students served on-campus to 100,000 each year, drawing school and youth groups from throughout the Nation.  


On the cornerstone of liberty, the American Village educates and inspires young people to: 

 

Price of Liberty

Remember the Price of Liberty and Honor Those Who Have Paid It

The timeless lesson of liberty is that freedom is not free. We remember, honor and thank those in every generation who have served and sacrificed for America and for liberty.

The American Village has been designated by public law as the Veterans Living Legacy, and adjoins the hallowed ground of the Alabama National Cemetery, which will become the final resting place for almost 200,000 veterans. In February 2014 the American Village dedicated The National Veterans Shrine and Register of Honor. The Veterans Shrine is patterned after Philadelphia’s Carpenters Hall. Major sculpture and paintings by nationally-renowned artists, interactive media, artifacts and exhibits help answer the questions: Who are our country’s veterans? What did they do for our country? and What do we owe them? 

Enshrined beneath the figure of Liberty outside the Veterans Shrine is hallowed ground taken from blood-stained battlefields around the world where brave Americans have served their country and the cause of freedom. Housed within the Shrine is the Veterans Register of Honor, a website and database containing photographs, biographical sketches, and stories of America’s veterans and active members of the United States Armed Forces.


A Freedom Trail extends beyond a replica of Concord's Old North Bridge and leads to an Amphitheatre atop the hill overlooking the adjoining 490-acre National Veterans Cemetery, truly transforming these spaces into the “Arlington of the Southeast.” 

 

Independence Hall

Promote Public Regard for the Constitution and America’s Charters of Freedom

Our country faces growing national amnesia of the constitutional foundations of our freedom and self-government.   

On most school days at the American Village students step into roles as delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787.  They discover a remarkable document that begins with the words "We the People..."   They gaze at the "Rising Sun Chair" and perhaps realize that individually as citizens and leaders they will help decide whether the sun is still a rising sun for our country.

The American Village aims to broaden and enhance the impact of its programs based on the Constitution and America's Charters of Freedom.  The centerpiece of this facility and educational program expansion will be Independence Hall and Congress Hall Classrooms.   

Inspired by America's Independence Hall and adjoining Congress Hall of Philadelphia, the American Village's expansion will be an extraordinary setting for both student and public programs with a compelling focus on America's great Charters of Freedom: 

These documents are more than historic relics on old parchment. They represent what Jefferson called "the creed of our political faith; the text of civic instruction."  They remain our Nation's fundamental principles that "secure the blessings of liberty" to this and future generations. 

  

Engage Citizens

Engage Citizens and Leaders in the Stewardship of Liberty

Our country faces growing national amnesia of the constitutional foundations of our freedom and self-government.  

When the framers of the Constitution adjourned the convention and left the Pennsylvania Statehouse on September 17, 1787, they had no assurance their work would succeed. The framers had done their work. Now their work was in the hands of the American people. 

George Washington declared the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty (which was the object of the American Revolution) and the destiny of the republican model of government are staked on the experiment in the hands of the American people.

The American experiment has been tested throughout American history, in times of poverty and prosperity, war and peace, division and unity. It is tried and tested anew in each generation. Circumstances of the present time now offer new challenges that test whether the experiment will remain successful. 

We must be good stewards of the liberty our founding generation secured for us. To each generation falls the task to choose to form a more perfect union and to secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.  Through example and education, the American Village encourages citizens and leaders in the stewardship of our American liberty. 

 

E Pluribus Unum

Foster renewal of the American spirit of E Pluribus Unum (from many, one)

In the name American we find our national identity, memory, and unity.  George Washington, father of our country, spoke candidly:
 

Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. – The name of AMERICAN, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism…   

We are reminded through an array of media of the many ways in which Americans are divided. 

Yet after 9/11, we saw a resurgence of patriotism, a reminder that first and foremost, we came together acknowledging that we are free Americans, blessed by our shared heritage and national identity, and prepared to safeguard and defend our country. 

Even in the vigorous exercise of our political processes, may we be reminded again of our overarching national unity and purpose, our kinship with one another as Americans. 

Let us together be the “we” in “We the people” and devote an appropriate amount of our time and talent fulfilling the highest office in America: that of citizen.