Constitution deserves to be studied

Published 10:22 pm Saturday, September 22, 2012

By Faye Sobel
Guest Columnist

An excellent column in last Sunday’s edition of the Suffolk News-Herald by editor Res Spears highlighted the importance of the United States’ Constitution, whose signing in 1887 in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall we commemorated last Monday.

In 1955, the Daughters of the American Revolution petitioned Congress to set aside Sept. 17-23 each year to be dedicated to the observance of Constitution Week. Public Law No. 915 was passed in 1956 and signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to enact it into law.

Email newsletter signup

The Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War, which followed, gave us our independence from Great Britain, but with no central government. Each state was an entity within itself.

Soon, it became apparent that a confederation of united states was needed to speak as one voice to others nations of the world. Thus, the original 13 colonies sent 55 delegates to Philadelphia to meet and create a document to reflect collectively their own point of view of what would become of those colonies.

Three and a half months later, they agreed and signed the Constitution. No one was in total agreement, but there was much debate and much compromise until all delegates felt this document would serve as a framework from which to begin.

We recognize and celebrate this date to honor our Constitution. It is the framework of our government, as it sets the role of government at both the national and state levels in the lives of its citizens.

It established the three branches of government — the executive, the legislative and the judiciary — to provide a system of checks and balances in each of its functions for the rights and protections of its citizens. It established the makeup of Congress as a bicameral organization with a Senate and a House of Representatives, and it established states’ rights.

In 225 years, only 27 amendments have been added to this document, a fact that testifies to the enduring power of our forefathers’ vision.

Students need to learn about the struggles our forefathers endured in developing this system of government that we practice today. As members of the Daughters of the American Revolution, we want to encourage the study of American history and the events that led to the need for a constitution.

Faye Sobel is a member of the Constantia Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Email her at