Legislation requiring federally funded schools to provide students an opportunity to both learn more about the U.S. Constitution and celebrate its importance is both appropriate and most certainly needed.
Students, we fear, don’t understand the impact the Constitution has on us as a country and as citizens of this great nation. In fact, we fear that many adults don’t quite comprehend its impact on their own lives.
So teaching students an appreciation for the Constitution and an understanding of what our forefathers intended when they penned it, is vital to our knowledge about our freedoms and the principles on which they were founded.
That is why we now have Constitution Week, observed Sept. 17-23. It was officially enacted on Aug. 2, 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower from a congressional resolution petitioned by the Daughters of the American Revolution, but it was George W Bush who officially declared the inception of Constitution Week in September 2002. The purpose of the observance week is to promote study and education about the constitution which was originally adopted by the American Congress of the Confederation on Sept. 17, 1787, hence why Monday is considered Constitution Day.
The Constitution is the blueprint for our government, representing fairness, justice, equality and many other moral characteristics.
It is a document we should all try to understand even though our interpretations of it might differ greatly.
But the intent of its writers is clear — that our nation should stand apart, welcome all, offer freedoms, insist on fairness and demand equality for all.
To know more about our Constitution is to know more about how we were founded, what makes us tick, if you will, and what we should, as a country always stand for.
There will be many people who attempt to interpret the Constitution to serve their own purposes, to twist and turn it to fit the particular agenda they might have. If we feel uncomfortable with a certain piece of the Constitution, for example, then we try to interpret it to say, for example, that free speech is correct, but only if what is said fits our moral compass.
That, we believe, is a misue of the Constitution to fit our own purposes.
If those interpretations stray too far from what our forefathers intended, then we will be trampling on the very freedoms our forefathers worked so hard to gain and to frame.
Learning about the Constitution and celebrating the rights it affords us shouldn’t have to be legislated, but in today’s society it has to be, and should be.
Whether we think we need to know or not, the truth is it is important to know where we came from and what our forefathers intended for us when this country was young.