Honoring the U.S. Constitution
by Rachelle Chang, Better Hawaii
September 17 is Constitution Day, commemorating the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. Sometimes we take the Constitution for granted, so let’s take a moment to appreciate the Constitution’s thoughtfulness and foresight. It guarantees that we have basic inalienable rights. It certifies that we grant limited authority to our government. It gives us a framework for keeping power with individuals and states, if we choose to keep it.
Appreciate the simplicity and power of Amendment X, which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”
The U.S. Constitution is such a powerful document that the Constitution of the State of Hawaii follows its lead. Article I is the Bill of Rights and begins, “All political power of this State is inherent in the people and the responsibility for the exercise thereof rests with the people. All government is founded on this authority.”
I challenge you to read or re-read the U.S. Constitution. Learn or remind yourself about the principles on which the United States was founded, and share them with at least one other person.
If you’re in school or spend time with school-age children, the National Constitution Center has a helpful “Constitution Day 2015 Bill of Rights Student Guide.” They also have lesson plans and resources for educators and parents.
Why is understanding the Constitution so important? We need to know our rights – so we can protect our freedoms. We need to know our history – so we can decide our future. We need to uphold our rights, freedoms, and responsibilities – so we can hold each other accountable.
Free bookmarks! To celebrate Constitution Day, I have free U.S. Constitution bookmarks with the Preamble and the first 10 Amendments. If you would like a U.S. Constitution bookmark for yourself or your classroom, email me at rachelle09 atyahoo.com (substitute “@” for “at”) and the number of bookmarks you need. I’ll gladly share these bookmarks until I run out.
How well do you know the U.S. Constitution?
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