There is a huge thrust in our society today to search ancestral history. Sites thrive which promise a connection with our past. It’s important because people want to be linked with those who came before, that helped genetically to create, the person they have become.
But in July 1787 a time had come in our Nation’s history that demanded change. It was a time when the leaders and people of this brand new land wanted to create something that would frame the way people thought, along with a basic set of ground rules for everyone to live by. So people like George Washington, Ben Franklin, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton joined forces, intellect and voices to create the document we now claim as the highest law in the United States: The US Constitution.
While no plan is perfect, and certainly the group of men gathered, had to compromise on some issues, it did provide the framework of the law of the land, we adhere to, even now. That said, while the Constitution did provide the boundaries for the government over all, each state also has a Constitution and has the ability to create laws which are not necessarily included in the Constitution. This was part of the reason our country was involved in a great Civil War back in the 1860’s. There were those who believed their state’s rights were being violated.
What of today? There are those who believe our states rights are again being violated as laws are passed which not all states want to be part of. At what point, do we as citizens, say, “I don’t think so!”? If we feel strongly about something, shouldn’t we voice those opinions? According to the Constitution’s First Amendment, through the Bill of Rights, we have the right to express our feelings without fear of harm. This is a wonderful freedom, yet as tensions throughout our country continue to simmer and near the boiling point, it doesn’t always feel safe to voice an unpopular opinion.
Are we still the “Land of the Free?” Are we still the great nation soldiers fought and died for through the years? The Constitution wasn’t a free deal. It came with a cost. It cost the lives of many men on many sides. And it didn’t stop there as people became discontent with the government those years just before the Civil War. People became angry and took sides. Are we headed down that road again?
I challenge you to take a good look at this great United States. Are you still “proud to be an American?” I hope so, but I’m sure there are those who would disagree.