Our United States Constitution is the world’s longest surviving written charter of government, and those who minimize it don’t begin to understand what a master feat of human wisdom it is. Written in 1787, ratified in 1788 and in operation since 1789, this document managed to designate specific federal authority while still protecting the basic rights of its citizens. Many other countries since then have based their constitutions on ours.
Fifty-five men, most of them lawyers, came to Philadelphia to serve as delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Each was hesitant to hand over power to a central government. But each also knew that the young country needed firmer legal guidelines if it was to survive. It took three and a half months, but they crafted a system of checks and balances known as the three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. It is this separation of powers which is so ignored by our political bodies today. And yet, in this beautiful framework lies the future continuation of our freedoms.
Thirty-nine men signed the Constitution, but only after the Bill of Rights was added. Another brilliant move, it still serves as a buffer to those who would deny our rights. The observance of Constitution Week began in 1956. It was reinforced in 2005 when all schools receiving federal funds were mandated to hold educational programs about the Constitution for their students. Who can imagine a teacher would need an edict to teach this wonderful document which is the backbone of our country? So take a moment to celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution and speak up against or use your vote to keep out any who do not honor it.