The importance of Constitution Day
On this day 228 years ago, 39 men signed the Constitution, a document that grants the nation’s states and citizens with unalienable rights and protections from a tyrannical government, and provides the foundation on which our government is built even today. The document was ratified and made official just two years later, in 1791, with the approval of the Bill of Rights that was not part of the original draft.
The Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments of the Constitution, protects citizens from government mistreatment as well as grants citizens certain rights that cannot be taken away by any government command.
Constitution Day, previously known as Citizenship Day before the passage of a law in 2004, celebrates the birth of the most integral document in American history, as well as the citizenship of the people at the time of signing.
Federal law mandates that all publicly funded institutions and all federal agencies, including schools that receive federal funding of any kind, provide programs and education on the Constitution each Constitution Day.
From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., today, Chadron State College hosts The Supreme Court in Review in the Bordeaux/Lakota rooms in the Student Center. A faculty panel will examine the role of the Constitution in our every day lives by reviewing some key Supreme Court cases decided during the October 2014 term. The justice studies department, Student Senate, and the dean of liberal arts sponsor the event. There will be free Constitution booklets given away to all attendees and an iPad Air 2 will be raffled.
We celebrate Constitution Day because this document, especially the Bill of Rights, is incomparably important to our identity as a free nation and as free citizens. It’s integral for us to know each and every right the Constitution designates to us in order for us to keep them; lack of knowledge can lead to complacency if or when the government passes unconstitutional laws.
“People need to remember where we came from and where we are going,” Laure Sinn, rangeland program coordinator, said when asked about why it is important to celebrate Constitution Day. “We take our freedom for granted. People are allowed to question government actions, unlike in other countries. And as long as it’s not threatening or hurtful, we can make fun of anything. It’s our right.”
We have a responsibility as Americans to know what is happening in local, state, and federal legislatures in order to ensure the freedom of all American citizens of different races, ages, sexual orientations and religions; Constitution Day reminds us to do just that.
So familiarize yourself with the political structure of your communities and hold politicians accountable for unconstitutional behavior in order to preserve the unalienable freedoms that we, as Americans, all carry with us daily.