Monday, May 2, 2011

Constitution Day Should Be Every Day

Not long ago, then-Colorado El Paso County Commissioner Douglas Bruce set a goal to favor 10,000 Colorado high school seniors with a free copy of the Declaration of Independence and U. S. Constitution, and had so far distributed 5,500 copies. While a dozen districts accepted, two refused.

For both those that accepted and those that did not:


There is no excuse whatever that Colorado students do not have at least one, if not several, copies of the Declaration of Independence and U. S. Constitution with its incredibly important Bill of Rights. The right answer for each school district and for each student should be:

"Thank you, but there is no need. Our students already have several copies of the Declaration and Constitution received over their many years of taxpayer-provided AND -FINANCED public education."

These two important documents can be purchased from a variety of sources for fifty cents or less, and the money is already there. According to the Colorado Department of Education, Colorado public schools spent $10,218,647,782 in fiscal 2010, an average of $12,916 each for its789,496.6 pupils, ( ).

Prior to the 2009-2010 fiscal year Colorado's Legislature required school districts to set aside and spend up to $134 per student for "supplies, textbooks, library books and periodicals," and capital and insurance reserves. Surely every school district, recognizing its duty to the taxpayers to a good education, and to this nation that has made the public schools possible, ought to make sure that every middle school and high school student has a copy of our nation's two essential foundation documents.

Why get these two important Freedom Documents touted frequently to all students, adults, citizens? The U. S. Constitution is the "supreme Law of the Land" because it says so (Article VI, Clause 2). The Declaration of Independence is the intent of law. Together they form The Law.

It was now-deceased Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-West Virginia) who made September 17 "Constitution Day." Byrd successfully pushed a federal law requiring all federal employees, and all schools receiving federal funds, to have education and training about the Constitution every September 17.

President Bush proclaimed September 17 as Constitution Day and the start of Constitution and Citizen Week with this statement, "I encourage Federal, State and local officials, as well as leaders of civic, social, and educational organizations, to conduct ceremonies and programs that celebrate our Constitution and reaffirm our rights and responsibilities as citizens of our great Nation."

As individual and sovereign citizens, and each one a Power of ONE, we can do more. Honoring "Each One Teach One" (preferably Ten), every one of us can learn-and-share, cherish, and pass on to others, America's Freedom Documents, history, heritage and Founding.

Owning the documents is just the first step. Familiarity makes the Freedom Documents more interesting, vital, personal and powerful. You can invent your own ways to teach yourself and your family or friends. For example, for many years I have issued "FreedomScore20xx" for individuals and families to celebrate the twenty ("score") days of Freedom, from Flag Day, June 14 to Independence Day. It encourages you to review, one-a-day, the Declaration of Independence, seven Articles of the Constitution, the first ten amendments – its incredibly important Bill of Rights, Pledge of Allegiance and a last review of the Declaration.

The DVD movie, A More Perfect Union: America Becomes a Nation, is a fun, easy way to learn the beauty, majesty and near miracle of the signing of the U. S, Constitution in 1787. Single priced at $19.95 by the National Center for Constitutional Studies, the DVD/paper sleeve is now at ten for $25. Buy ten! Share nine! [NCCS pocket U. S. Constitution, 10 for $5, 100 for $30(!); $19.95 The 5000 Year Leap book, 10 for $50(!), 1-800-388-4512.]

Make this "Constitution Day" column a part of the handouts that form your nine giveaway information Freedom Packets.

The NCCS website also tells how you or your group can sponsor a "Making of America" one-day Saturday “Making of America” Constitution seminar that often features NCCS president Earl Taylor, Jr. as presenter. Take that up as a personal challenge.

All elected public officials must swear an oath of office to support and defend their U. S. and State Constitutions. Ask them, and candidates for public office, if they have read those documents they are sworn to uphold, and to what extent. (And, have you read them?)

Daniel Webster said, "Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6,000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world."

Senator Byrd concluded a television interview, 8/2/04, with these thoughts:

"To the American people I say, awaken to what is happening. It is the duty of each citizen to be vigilant, to protect liberty, to speak out, left and right, and disagree, lest we be trampled underfoot by misguided zealotry and extreme partisanship.

"So, at a time when dissent is dismissed as being unpatriotic, when one’s beliefs are subject to ridicule or investigation, the strength of the individual is all the more important. If the individual’s voice is drowned out, if the spirit is extinguished and the fire of freedom dies, then who – who -- tell me, who -- shall be left to carry on the legacy of this Republic? We can turn the tide. You and I, and others like us, can turn the tide. We can turn the tide, for the individual mind remains an unassailable force.

"The individual voice can inspire others to act. A single act of bravery can lead an army against great odds. The strength of a single individual can give hope to the hopeless, voice to the voiceless, power to the powerless, and the precious light of liberty will once again burn brightly."

Finally, remember that very important part of the Preamble of the Constitution, " . . . and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, . . ." that means to keep George Washington’s "sacred fires of Liberty" alive for our children, grandchildren and unborn, unrepresented generations to come. It all boils down to this:

America: Bring It Back. Make It Free. Pass It On.

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