Remembering the Constitution

Published 1:15 am Saturday, September 18, 2010

Yesterday was a date that should rank among the ranks of Independence Day and Veterans Day, or at least be as noted as Labor Day, Memorial Day or even Groundhog Day.
On Sept. 17, 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed by the Constitutional Convention, setting the fundamental laws for the United States. Although the United States existed prior to the Constitution under the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution firmly established the nation that we live in today.
There were no fireworks, no parades or ceremonies. There wasn’t a Constitution Day sale going on anywhere.
Most newspapers didn’t commit more than a paragraph or two to the event.
It’s kind of weird that the Constitution didn’t get a celebrated day like Columbus Day, Veterans Day or Cinco de Mayo.
Our Constitution is considered to be the finest document produced, and has stood the test of time, having been in effect for 223 years, with only 27 amendments added over that time.
Maybe the next time Congress considers a federal holiday, it can take a look at honoring the Constitution.
Wedged between Labor Day and Columbus Day, it would be tough to add a holiday on Sept. 17, but perhaps there could be a Constitution Week or even a Constitution Month.
It is my hope that schools have been using this week or next to discuss the Constitution, how it came to be and how it has changed over the years. It’s also a good time for non-students to consider the document that emerged from a battle of compromises and continues to change interpretations over time.
The Constitution is a fascinating document that has proven to be both strong and flexible, enduring and changeable, firm and subject to interpretation. It celebrated its 223th anniversary on Friday, and I just wanted someone else to know.

David B. Snow is the managing editor of The Demopolis Times.

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