If you asked a group of people to name their favorite holiday, many will probably answer with “The Fourth of July,” or, more appropriately, “Independence Day.” This is a time when families come together, enjoy the beautiful mid-summer weather and fly the stars and stripes high and proud.


While the Fourth of July obviously pays special tribute to the Declaration of Independence, there is another day on the calendar that celebrates one of our key founding documents: The United States Constitution.


This year marks the 226th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, which was signed on September 17th, 1787. Today, ours is the oldest written constitution in the world.


The vision and forward-thinking that our Founders possessed are apparent in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. But just as importantly, their abundance of humility cannot be overlooked. While no group of people—regardless of size or collective brilliance—would be capable of creating a philosophical document that is perfect, they provided opportunities for future generations to make changes to the document.


They achieved this through the addition of the amendment process. It is not easy to ratify Constitutional Amendments. It has only been done 27 times in 226 years. But the mechanism for doing so is explicitly stated in the Constitution. The Founders’ willingness to compromise is what ultimately led to the Bill of Rights because some states refused to sign on unless the document contained the principles that ultimately were listed in the first 10 Amendments.


Today, it might be easy to take for granted freedoms like those of religion, speech and the press. But at that time, these rights were not the norm through most of the world, which was a major reason why the Founders broke from Great Britain to form a new nation in the first place.


It is important, not only to be knowledgeable of the US Constitution, but also to understand why it is so important. It laid the framework for what has become a nation of great wealth, production and charity. Losing sight of what got us here is a great recipe for losing our way as a nation.

 
 
 
  
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