“Take out a dollar bill. Look closely at the eagle. Do you see the words E Pluribus Unum?”
Our professor pointed to the eagle on the dollar bill. We reached in and those of us who had a dollar looked, squinted to see what he was talking about. “Oh yeah. Now we see it.”
“Good.” He walked over to Joe. “Ok, Joe. What do you think it means?”
Oh, I wish he had asked me. I took four years of Latin at Classical High School, and along with Omnia Gallia in tres partes divisa est and Veni, vidi , vici., E Pluribus Unum was one of the very few phrases I remembered.
I wanted him to ask me. Joe responded, “In God we trust.”
“Somehow I knew you might say that, Joe. No. It means “Out of many one….out of many states, one nation. Or, out of many peoples, races, religions, languages, and ancestries has emerged a single people.”
“Really? It’s great.”
“Yes, really. It is great.”