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What Does Constitution Day Represent?

Updated on September 29, 2013

Constitution day has officially been around since the spending bill of 2004. It was added as an amendment to this legislation but just having a law such as this means nothing unless it is celebrated across the country. Celebrating Constitution day did not begin with the passage of this law for it was first recognized in the state of Iowa in 1911. Officially the Department of Education announced the enactment of the law in May 2005 and it has been in effect ever sense.

The purpose of Constitution Day is to recognize the signing of the Constitution on September 17th. The law creating Constitution Day was passed as an amendment to the spending bill of 2004. It was originally called Citizenship Day. This is one time adding an amendment to a spending bill made sense. The Department of Education announced the enactment of the law in May 2005 and it has been in effect ever sense. The basic purpose of the law was and still is to celebrate the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and is now celebrated on September 17, of each year. When the holiday falls on a weekend it is either celebrated on Friday or Monday dependent upon when September 17 falls on the calendar each year.

Observance of this law requires schools which receive federal funds create educational programs regarding the Constitution on this holiday and even the universities and colleges have created U.S. Constitution and citizenship weeks to meet the requirements of the law. Iowa schools first recognized Constitution Day in 1911 far ahead of an official holiday. The history behind the creation of this holiday stretches many years since it was first recognized in 1911 in Iowa. Constitution Day has come and gone but we should never forget what it represents and celebrates.

Our Constitution is the law of the land or it should be but events in recent years through court decisions and legislation passed seem to question whether it remains to be in this position. The principle on which this country was found is engrained within the content of the Constitution. Many court decisions are what amounts to be an interpretation of the words in various parts of the Constitution. While this may be needed to set the record straight on some issues in other cases the decisions seem to contradict the Constitution.

Constitution Day should be celebrated to remember not only the signing of the Constitution but what it represents. It is a document that has survived over 200 years with changes and the process for change included in it. In this respect our Constitution is unlike many other documents in foreign lands. Changes in some places have only taken place by creating a whole new document to govern a country. In another comparison the rights we have included in the Constitution also distinguishes it from other countries.

We should be proud of our Constitution and display it through the celebrations and activities which take place on Constitution Day. The fact that a single day has been created to celebrate the Constitution does not or should not prevent us from expressing our opinion on the value of it and the rights we have expressed within the content. There have been many cases and there will be many more in the future which seem to be an attack on the rights we have. We should fight these actions to fullest extent of the law up to and including the Supreme Court. Let us celebrate the Constitution every day for it is one way of not forgetting what it represents to our country and the principle on which it was found.


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