A very special birthday for our country

Today marks a very special birthday – the 225th anniversary of the United States Constitution!

On Constitution Day we recognize the thirty-nine men who created the document which still governs us today.  With the accompanying Bill of Rights, our fundamental freedoms of religion, speech, press and assembly were guaranteed.

With last week’s anniversary of the tragedy of September 11, 2001 and the recent protests occurring in the Middle East, we are reminded of the basic tenants of our form of government and the challenges that can accompany the freedoms we hold dear.  Over the course of two centuries, men and women have given their lives for these rights – some trying desperately to be a part of this democratic experiment by immigrating to the United States, others making the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedom.

Democracy can be messy.  Two hundred and twenty-five years ago, there were debates and arguments, and some delegates even stormed out of the Constitutional Convention.  Ultimately, however, a compromise was constructed, which, along with checks and balances, mark the core of our system.

As we celebrate this very special anniversary, let us also be reminded of our personal responsibilities in preserving and protecting our democracy – the need to inform ourselves, be active participants, to listen and respect other opinions and, despite the messiness, to be thankful and proud to live in the greatest nation on earth!