Saturday, September 17, 2011

"We the People"

   


  For four long months the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention gathered in Independence Hall to compile a document for the perpetual existence of the newly formed United States of America. On September 17th, 1787 the delegates to the Constitutional Convention fulfilled their last meeting with the single most important document in America. These men created not only a document for their generation, but a document to last through the rest of time.  The words “We the People of the United States,” would soon alter the foundation of this nation, history and world. The Constitution is a living and relevant document not only for today but also for our future. Our Constitution establishes the role of the Federal and State governments, protects our everyday liberties and freedoms, and can and has led our nation through its most difficult times.
     Included in Articles one through three, the Constitution lays the basis of the role of the Federal government in all aspects and designates the role of the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches. The Separation of Powers ensures truth, accountability, and representation for the American people. While the constitution does lay the base of the role of the federal government, Amendment Ten to the Constitution ensures that the United States remains a Union of States under a federal constitutional republic. Amendment Ten ensures that the State rights do not become infringed upon. Government is always more efficient at a local level than a large, distant governmental body. The founding fathers realized this when they were drafting the Constitution because of their troubles with the remote King of England. As the United States does need a unifying higher body, the State’s rights must remain because in the States’ hand it is in the people’s hand. Localized government cannot be more relevant today than with the fast pace world we live in. The States recognize before the federal government what troubles may lay ahead for their area and with the resources they may be able to catch the trouble in time.
     From the Civil Rights Movement, to the Vietnam Protests, to the Women’s Rights Movement toward the Tea Party rallies across the USA, whether you agree or disagree with many of these changing tides in American history ALL express freedoms ensured to us by the Constitution. Most of the Bill of Rights and many of the amendments to the Constitution guarantee us rights, liberties, and freedoms given to us by our Creator. The relevancy of the Constitution cannot be more apparent to us than through ensuring ourselves our many freedoms. The freedom of speech, press, religion, and protest has been shown time and time again to bring civil liberties upon our nation and to ensure our elected officials are doing the American people’s will and not the will of their own. What separates our Constitution and our nation from the rest of the world is the extraordinary amount of liberties entitled to us by our Constitution. However, we must always remember that with great amount of freedom must come even greater will to protect those freedoms. In the words of Jason Laumark “The Constitution does not grant rights, it recognizes them.”
     As being the United States most cherished written document the Constitution of the United States has withstood the test of time. The Constitution has been amended through history to ensure the American dream can be accessible to all races, genders, and abilities. It has endured through our greatest challenges as a nation, has been fought for through bloodshed and through peace but has always remained steadfast. Now, more than ever, we need a steady wall to lean upon and to prop us up, a wall that we know is always there and will never falter and will always weather the storm. The Constitution has proven to be this wall through the Civil War, Great Depression, and today’s Great Recession, and other challenges that has faced our nation. Throughout the Civil War the Constitution and the Nation began to collapse, however, under the strong guidance and leadership of President Lincoln grew and expanded through Amendment thirteen and fourteen. Said by Lincoln himself, "We, the people, are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution." This great man understood the power and ability of the Constitution to bring two peoples together under common good of their nation.
     While Establishing the Foundation of this nation’s government, guaranteeing rights and liberties, and standing strong even through our most difficult times the Constitution has proven relevant yesterday, today and tomorrow. We must never forget the words of the Constitution, neither the men who signed it; and on every September 17th we must take a moment to reflect on the document that continues to shape lives.  In the words of Henry Clay this essay can be summarized in only a few words. “The Constitution of the United States was made not merely for the generation that then existed, but for posterity- unlimited, undefined, endless, perpetual posterity.”

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Day Remembered

“I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you... and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” They sure have heard us; day by day they continue to see the resilient unshakeable and determined spirit of the American people.  Ten years ago today I was in my first grade classroom when my teacher told our class that America was under attack. As a first grader I did not feel the extremity of the situation until hours later when driving home under that clear blue sky; and watching my parents as they were intently glued to the news. 

Even at that young age, my life was changed. I understood why I was proud of my country and what made America great. In any other nation this type of tragedy would make the nation weak and vulnerable; however, in the United States, we became determined to show the terrorists they did not win.

In Lance Wubbels book A Time for Heroes, he vividly describes the spirited heart of the heroes on that day.

“It was a day of unthinkable horror and destruction, but it became a day for American heroes. Heroes were everywhere you looked. Giants rose of relative obscurity to cast long shadows across the smoke and dust and rubble. Ordinary American citizens, suddenly caught in the crossfire of terrorism, put their lives on the line to preserve the lives of others. They emerged as the truly mighty and valiant ones of Flight 93. Among the smoldering wreckages of the Pentagon they stood with undimmed spirits as fire fighters unfurled a gigantic flag from the roof of the burned out structure. At ground Zero, hundreds and thousands of people on dozens of fronts searched the mountain of unstable rubble in an epic battle to win back as many lives as could possible by rescued. “(Lance Wubbels)

All the heroes of 9-11 resemble Esther in The Book of Esther 4:4 “…and If I perish I perish.”  That was the attitude of that fateful day. The spirit of the American people was present through the brave men and women; the spirit of others before yourself and the spirit of unity.

Let us never forget that day that while dented part of the American spirit, allowed us to grow back and show the rest of the world the true heart of the American people.

May God Continue to Bless the United States of America.