It’s Constitution Day, again. This year it falls on a Saturday, so I won’t be celebrating with my students until Monday. In the meantime, I am reminded of the importance to share and celebrate today, even if I only catch the end of Saturday and post late in the evening.
Saturday is always a busy day, even if it is Saturday. The past several years we’ve spent our Friday nights watching a high school football game, but W, my football playing son, graduated from high school in May and is no longer on the team. So we don’t have to be at all of the games. We’ll still root for the Tigers, but we won’t catch all of the games. Besides, O, my softball playing daughter, had a softball game Friday night and we rooted her and her team on to a win.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Preamble to the Constitution.
Seven Articles. Twenty-seven Amendments. 229 years and the framework is still valid. It still works. At the time, it was divisive. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay came together to collaborate on articles to influence the passage of the Constitution. These articles published anonymously are better known as the Federalist Papers and have been used by the Supreme Court justices to help decide many of the decisions they’ve handed down since the Constitution became the law of the land on June 21, 1788 when New Hampshire became the 9th of 13 states to ratify the Constitution. Virginia and New York, the two most populous states would become the 10th and 11th states to ratify the document before George Washington was elected our first president. North Carolina and Rhode Island would join the Union while Washington was in his first presidential term. By the time Washington made his farewell address in 1796, the Union would grow to 16 states with Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee joining the original 13 states.
But you don’t follow me to read Constitutional theory or even U.S. History, though it’s interesting. Just admit it, it’s okay. You click MtDc to find out what’s happening and read a little bit of positive in a world filled full of negativity.
“But as I write these words now I cannot stand and sing the National Anthem. I have learned that I remain a black in a white world.”
Tomorrow is Sunday and there will be several professional football players who don’t stand for the singing of the National Anthem and many folks will be upset. They’ll wonder how the players can justify their actions, after all they’re being paid millions of dollars to play a child’s game. They should be grateful and thankful for the opportunity. But, that is simply not the issue.
The quote above is from I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson.
Throughout my life I’ve been fortune and many breaks have gone my way. In fact, there have been times when I was able to drive my car with a broken taillight, brake light, or turn indicator without getting stopped. Albeit, none of those lights were out at the same time.
The Constitution and the subsequent amendments guarantee that I can kneel during the singing of the National Anthem. I can burn the American flag and I can be critical of the government. Not that I will kneel during the singing of the National Anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance or burn an American flag as a protest. It’s that I can. That’s what’s important.
Jackie Robinson was one of the 100 most I introduced almost a month ago. All of my students recognized him. They were shaky on a couple of the other persons I introduced, but more on that with this week’s Tuesday’s Tune.
What’s important is that America is a county where our freedoms are guaranteed by the Constitution, even freedoms that push the limits of freedom. That’s reason enough to celebrate. Jackie Robinson also said,
“There’s not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.”
I hope I see that day.
Today, I watched O play another softball game – they tied this afternoon and won last night. I took in a couple of college football games on television and watched the Astros play a late west coast game in Seattle.
During O’s game I got distracted by B and helped her knock buckeyes from the buckeye tree by the ballfield. Afterwards, O joined in and we came home from the softball game with a couple of bags full of buckeyes with some still in their protective husks. The buckeyes are air drying in the garage.
It’s been a good day and it’s almost done. A couple more hours and it’ll be Sunday, one more day closer to Monday. The year is off to a great start, I have a great group of students and, so far we’re hungry to and working with me. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one celebration after another, some significant, some minor, but all important.
How did you mark Constitution Day?