Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Constitution

If they teach you anything in law school it is all about the Constitution and its Laws. It was the 4th of July when Americans largely just buy a lot of beer and char some animal remains on an open fire outdoors. We also are able to see some planned fireworks display in the sky somewhere all over America. We should take a day to celebrate our comfortable lives here in America. We have plumbing and electricity and we have a home and most of all we can live next door or work with anyone from any other heritage or country and be at peace with them. That is what we should cherish every year.

It was John Adams who wrote on how the Independence should be spent. He wrote, “It aught to be solemnized with pomp and parade; with guns ,bells, bonfires, illuminations from one end of this continent to the other. From this time forward and forever more.”

It was a remarkable statement when you remember that the colonies were just on the eastern side of the Allegheny Mountains. Those founding fathers of ours thought big and thought very carefully of how this land should be governed. Thankfully, there will be fireworks illuminating the skies from coast to coast. Take the time to enjoy the sight and thank every soldier that still defends our way of life because what we do here in America is still the best government for anyone who wishes to live a free life to choose their way of living and their religion.

If you really want to celebrate our independence take a trip to Philadelphia where the first fires of the American Revolution were fanned. It is the place where our country began. It all didn’t happen in a large or grand place. It happened in a small building called Carpenter’s Hall where delegates from the thirteen colonies met for the first time in 1774 to discuss in secret their grievances against British rule. They closed the windows so no one would even know they were there because it was treason to even talk against the British. Now we have freedom of speech to air grievances publicly against who ever we want to. Those men were worried that they might be taken and hanged.

Upstairs in the Hall is a library. The countries first library where the general public could borrow books. It was Ben Franklin’s idea and an idea for learning for America. In a park there you can see bronze figures of Washington and Ben Franklin still watching over the area. Just walk up Market Street or Chestnut Street and you can still feel the presence of the great men who walked in the same walkways 200 years ago. Walk over to the cemetery near Christ Church and see the town feeling there.

There is the City Tavern established in 1773 which was the local bar and restaurant where Ben Franklin ate and the place where Washington first met John Adams. It was loud and lively and where talks of revolution were made with more confidence. A walk of just a few short blocks from the City Tavern brings you to an elegant but simple building called the Old Pennsylvania State House where in July 1776 the Colonies already at war with Britain voted on making the final break from their rule.

This all took place on July 2nd. Nothing really took place on July 4th. The 4th was the date printed on the document. The document of course is The Declaration Of Independence from Britain. The writing of it was largely Jefferson’s work. Early drafts exist in his handwriting. We need to learn the stories of our past as a country and pass the stories on to our children. Yes, the stories are also called history. We are currently raising a generation of kids that are historically illiterate. Our kids are bright, attractive and likable but are stunningly not knowing much about this country.

Ask your kids if they know where the 13 colonies were. Don’t be surprised if they don’t even know they all existed on the east coast. So, put down the beer and the hot dogs. That stuff isn’t good for your health anyway and pick up a couple of books to read and share written by David McCullough. Some of his books are called 1776, The Revolutionary War and a biography of President John Adams. Or just watch Episode 3 of this season’s TV show of America’s Got Talent.

They feature a choir at the end of the show comprised of women that all have husbands in active duty in the military. The group is called The American Military Spouses Choir.  We should pay tribute to the wives and families and loved ones who willingly give up the people they love the most in their lives and allow them to put their lives in danger for our country.  That has to be the greatest sacrifice of all.  A leap of faith and hope that the soldiers will protect our freedom here and still come back to them someday to love and cherish for themselves.


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