In a nation where we are given the freedom to care as little or as much as we please, it becomes apparent that so many of us take for granted those freedoms and rights that allow us to do so. Many of us forget that it is our duty to defend our individual freedoms, but how can you defend something you know so little about?
We have had a long line of great Chief Justices who were burdened with interpreting and preserving our Constitution, but this duty should not be left to them alone. Our founding fathers took 116 days to draft our most important document because they were so concerned with establishing a government that allowed its citizens to determine their own destinies.
Former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Sandra Day O’Connor once said, “What makes the Constitution worthy of our commitment? First and foremost, the answer is our freedom. It is quite simply, the most powerful vision of freedom ever expressed. It’s also the world’s shortest and oldest national constitution, neither so rigid as to be stifling, nor so malleable as to be devoid of meaning.”
Like O’Connor, we must first understand the significance of our country’s most important document and understand how it functions in relation to the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. Another great Justice once described the Declaration as a promise and the Constitution the fulfillment of that promise.
With Constitution Week approaching, what better time to brush up on your knowledge and understanding of your basic rights as an American Citizen? This annual commemoration aims to emphasize our responsibilities to know and defend the foundation of our freedom and the American way of life—our Constitution. This begins first by knowing and understanding the document. After all, the better informed we are, the better equipped we are to defend those basic rights that our founding fathers believed to be so integral in their quest for freedom.