CONSTITUTION DAY – SEPTEMBER 17
On September 17, we will celebrate Constitution Day – the day in 1787 when 39 of our nation’s Founding Fathers gathered in the Pennsylvania State House to sign the Constitution of the United States of America. This document, carefully created by these learned men eleven years after the Declaration of Independence was signed and almost six years after our fledgling nation defeated the British forces at Yorktown to win the Revolutionary War, changed the world.
For the first time in history, in what is known as “America’s Great Experiment,” The People ruled themselves by establishing a limited government based on law and consent of the governed. Power was with The People, not with a ruler. Unalienable rights came from God, not from a king. A system of checks and balances was integral to the design of the new government, to prevent any one of the three branches of government from gaining too much control. To preserve these fragile freedoms for future generations, the Founding Fathers understood that an educated electorate needed to be informed about the issues that impacted their government and their lives.
The Constitution, which includes the Bill of Rights, has guaranteed our freedom and liberty for more than 227 years, and it has inspired freedom throughout the world.
How can we honor and better understand these important documents that are the foundation of our freedoms? On Constitution Day, many schoolchildren will read the Preamble to the Constitution in their classrooms. Teachers and parents can find resources at the NationalConstitutionCenter (www.constitutioncenter.org). Many adults will study the Constitution by taking the free online Constitution 101 – The Meaning and History of the Constitution course through Hillsdale College (www.hillsdale.edu). Others will purchase a small pocket Constitution from the Cato Institute (www.cato.org) and carry it with them.
Constitution Day is a day to celebrate and cherish our freedoms. Freedom is fragile and must be protected every day. Freedom is not free.
Preamble of The Constitution of the United States of America
WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
~ Jini Clare