Friday, September 17, 2010
Today we celebrate Constitution Day and delight in the freedoms and countless rights that are outlined for us as Americans in our founding document. No country has ever existed that has experienced the liberties we take for granted in the United States. Not only did the founders have great foresight when drafting the Constitution, but millions of men and women have stood up to defend our republic and way of life.
It was in the Constitution that our founding fathers penned the infamous words, “We the People.” We the people, benefit from countless civil rights that aren’t found in all countries. We the People, have freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, economic liberties, equal protection under the law, and freedom from cruel and unusual punishments. We the People, ordained and established the Constitution in order to form a more perfect Union.
Sadly, the understanding of our founding documents have been lost due to indifference and misinterpreted due to ignorance. Recognizing the vital need to understand the Constitution, the specific observance of Constitution Day was established in 2004 by Congress to fall on today’s date, September 17, the day the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution back in 1787. The law recognizing Constitution Day requires all publically funded educational institutions to learn about the Constitution every year on this day. However, all American citizens should take an interest in the base of their government, not just students in their youth. Young or old, rich or poor, the Constitution plays a role in the lives of all its citizens.
The Constitution is both testimony to the foundations of our national heritage and still relevant to the circumstances and needs of our times. It was a unique idea to the Founding Fathers, and it remains uniquely American today. It is important that all Members of Congress remember to view every piece of legislation through a Constitutional lens when bills are presented throughout the year, not just on the anniversary of the ratification of our founding document.
Our Constitution has been preserved over the last two hundred years thanks to the tireless efforts of so many. We too must continue to be vigilant to stand by the freedoms safeguarded in this document. It is my wish that all future generations be able to experience America as a sovereign nation ruled by the limited form of government found in the Constitution of the United States of America.