She doesn’t look too bad for a 234-year-old. Sure, she’s had some work done — 27 times to be exact — and she’s been through a lot, but she still gets the job done.
No, I’m not talking about my mother-in-law (ba-dum, tish!). I’m talking about the U.S. Constitution. Today is Constitution Day! It’s not one of the cool governmentrelated holidays like the Fourth of July, Veterans Day or even Presidents Day. In fact, I don’t know of a single Constitution Day celebration taking place today.
Hopefully, the local schools are doing something. And don’t blame it on the coronavirus… nobody did anything last year either.
It’s easy to take the Constitution for granted. It’s actually one of its strongest attributes that we almost never have to think about it. It’s just there, spelling out our rights and setting the standard for how our government operates. So, don’t feel too bad if you forgot its birthday.
But I do want to share a little Constitution story with you.
One million years ago when I was in the ninth grade (OK, it was 1987), I was in Jim Marotti’s U.S. Civics class at good old Marion High School (ninth graders went to the high school back then). We went on a little field trip up to the Crittenden County Courthouse. Why? Well, the Constitution was in town. It was the bicentennial of the signing of the U.S. Constitution, and I don’t remember now if it was the real actual Constitution or a replica but I do remember it was in a glass display case and we were definitely not allowed to touch it. If it wasn’t the real deal, it was a very convincing copy. Anyway, all of us
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students were allowed to go up and sign special “amended” signature page, so we were all basically honorary signers of the U.S. Constitution. As I write this, it sounds a little cheesy, but to ninth-grade me, it was a pretty big deal. I had always been, and continue to be, a huge history buff (nerd), and it was pretty cool to think I had signed the same document (basically) as all those great Founding Fathers had done 200 years earlier.
These days, party politics and a divided nation have worked hand in hand to put the Constitution through the ringer, but it’s still intact and that’s just a testament to what an amazing document it is. I’d have to make it to 114 to live to see the 300th anniversary of the Constitution, but I’d like to think that one of my grandchildren or greatgrandchildren would have the same opportunity to be an honorary signee. It’s not only cool to think about my own personal legacy continuing that long but the Constitution itself still wrapping itself around us and our freedom for many years to come.