“We the People
of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” [Preamble as originally written at the Philadelphia Convention, signed September 17, 1787.]
The Supreme Court’s Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor spoke about our Constitution:
“What makes the Constitution worthy of our commitment? . . . It is, quite simply, the most powerful vision of freedom ever expressed. . . Our Constitution has been an inspiration that changed the trajectory of world history for the perpetual benefit of mankind. . . What was revolutionary when it was written, and what continues to inspire the world today, is that the Constitution put governance in the hands of the people.” (-My emphasis.)
Evidence of this inspiration can be found in the United Nation’s Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1945 at the end of World War II, the Declaration was signed December 12, 1948. It begins:
“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people. . .” [Full text on the United Nations web site. The UN currently has 193 member nations.]
As we celebrate our Nation’s birthday, let’s remember all those who birthed it. And let’s never forget that WE THE PEOPLE have voiced our desires for the rights we believe are inalienable to humankind. We can only protect our own rights by ensuring the same for all others in our human family.