I was pleased and a little surprised last week when my youngest daughter mentioned that her children were learning about Constitution Day at their elementary school. I thought back to when I was their age, and I could not remember learning anything about the Constitution. I know that I said the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag every morning, but I do not remember learning about Independence Day or Constitution Day.
Tomorrow is Constitution Day, the day that we commemorate the signing of the United States Constitution. Thirty-nine delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document on September 17, 1787, at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Constitution is the most influential document in the history of the United States and is the reason that the United States of America has remained a free nation for more than 230 years.
For more than 200 years the U.S. Constitution has served as a model for more than100 other nations. Yet, no other nation can claim the constitutional benefits that Americans can. The Constitution is what makes America great, and it is the reason why people continue to immigrate – legally and illegally – to America.
The Constitution is a miraculous document in that it was created in colonial times to govern less than three million people. Yet, it remains the supreme law of the land for a nation with a population of more than 320 million people.
The Constitution is a living document in that it contains the means to amend itself. It has been amended twenty-seven times with the first ten amendments being added at the time of ratification. These ten amendments comprise the Bill of Rights, one of the main reasons why the Constitution was ratified in the first place. Other amendments have been proposed but never ratified. Still, the Constitution lives on in basically the same condition as when it was signed.
I have studied the Constitution for more than ten years, but I feel that I am just beginning to understand the intelligence behind the writing of it. The Constitution is a blessing in the lives of all Americans, and I am grateful to live in a nation with such an influential guiding document.