This is one of your two senators, Chuck Grassley. Constitution Day is September 17th.
That’s the anniversary of when the delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the extraordinary document establishing our system of government.
It’s an opportunity for all Americans to reflect on our founding document and the principles on which it is based.
The Constitution will be 229 years old, but the principles it embodies are timeless.
Our continued commitment to those principles is a big part of what unites us as Americans.
Unlike nations that were founded on the basis of a common ethnic identity or loyalty to a monarch, ours is based on certain enduring principals.
Those principles are best articulated in the simple but eloquent words of the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
The Framers of the U.S. Constitution set about to form a stable and effective system of government that embodied the principles outlined in the Declaration.
At that time, most governments in the world were monarchies.
A republic in which citizens voted for their representatives was definitely unusual, although not unheard of.
However, that our system of government was designed from the ground up to protect God-given rights is truly unique in human history.
It is an exception to the norm.
That’s why so many people say the United States is an exceptional country.
Calling our country exceptional shouldn’t be used as a boast, but there’s no denying that the founding of our country set a unique, and I think uniquely good, example.
We tend to take it for granted now, but what the Framers of our Constitution did all those years ago was really remarkable.
It was not only an experiment in self-government, but in limited government.
By specifying what the government could do, and limiting its power to those legitimate functions, they defined the proper role of government in a free society.
That role is to protect our natural rights and otherwise leave space for free people to pursue their own happiness.
Still, as significant as our Constitution is, it wouldn’t be worth anything if Americans didn’t study it and work to maintain it.
Each generation of Americans needs to understand the importance of the Constitution and our founding principles so we can pass on the blessings of liberty to the next generation.
I hope you’ll do that this Constitution Day, and throughout your life.
Happy Constitution Day!