PLATTSMOUTH – Three years ago, Barb Otto, who lives in Holt County, volunteered to create more awareness of America’s Motto throughout Nebraska.
She couldn’t believe what she learned.
“There wasn’t any courthouse with the motto `In God We Trust’ somewhere,” Otto said. “I was shocked.”
Otto is the Nebraska spokeswoman for a national organization, In God We Trust – America, Inc., that began in California. Its purpose, she said, is to put this motto somewhere on courthouse walls.
In the past three years, Otto has visited more than 80 counties seeking the placement of this motto in their courthouses.
So far, her voice has been heard and well received for the most part.
“I think I have a 95 percent success rate,” she said, adding that three or four counties have installed this motto in multiple places in their courthouses. “I haven’t had any complaints.”
On Tuesday, Otto came looking for Cass County to join the movement.
“This is the 84th county I have visited,” she told the county’s Board of Commissioners.
It doesn’t have to be an expensive project, according to Otto. A vinyl sign on a wall displaying this motto can cost as low as $27 or so, she told the board.
“It doesn’t have to be expensive to look nice,” she said.
And, it could come from private donations, she said.
“I don’t recommend county dollars be spent,” Otto said.
There have not been any formal challenges from organizations or individuals concerning this movement, either, Otto said. She also recommended the board ask for input from residents to gauge their feelings.
The board voted to have the county attorney’s office study the matter further and come back in two weeks with a recommendation.
On July 30, 1956, during the Dwight Eisenhower administration, the U.S. Congress adopted `In God We Trust’ as the official national motto, though it had been used on currency since the Civil War, according to Otto.
In November of 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives voted nearly unanimously to reaffirm that distinction.
“I’m starting to see light at the end of the tunnel,” Otto said of her mission. “We need to hang on to our symbols and mottos.”