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On Thursday, September 17, our country will celebrate Constitution Day. This year marks the 233rd anniversary of the adoption of the United States Constitution by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention.
As I consider our Constitution and all that has happened over the course of this year, I’m reminded of something President Ronald Reagan said, “Times have changed. But the basic premise of the Constitution hasn’t changed. It’s still our blueprint for freedom.”
“Our blueprint for freedom,” meaning our plan or model to preserve the freedoms we are so blessed to have in this country—freedoms gained for us through blood and sacrifice and those freedoms safeguarded for us through blood and sacrifice.
From the Revolutionary War to today, there have been approximately 2,852,901 American casualties defending the freedoms outlined in the Constitution, and those 2,852,901 casualties comprise every race, every religion, every gender, every age, and every political affiliation. We live free today because of their sacrifice. From the distant past to recent days, all of those lives matter to me. They matter to me because they paid the ultimate price preserving our constitutional rights. They give strength to the Constitution.
Albert Einstein put it best: “The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure.”
To defend the Constitution doesn’t mean only to die for it. Defense of it happens in our daily lives. When we show respect to all people no matter their skin color or religious or political views, we defend the Constitution. When we stand in reverence to our flag and National Anthem—the symbols that remind us of the ones who made sacrifices for our freedom—we defend our Constitution. When we remember our history, learn from it, and go forward on a better path, we defend the Constitution because we validate that blueprint for freedom, avoiding the tyranny our Constitution stands to prevent.
Even during our worst times as a nation, we live in the greatest country in the world. We are free to be individuals and live the life we believe in. I close with the words of George Washington: “The Constitution is the guide I never will abandon.”