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Guest commentary: Celebrate Constitution by taking time to vote

POSTED: September 27, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 17 marked the 221st anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States, the world's oldest written constitution.

In 1956, the United States Congress designated the week of Sept. 17-23 of each year as Constitution Week in recognition of the historic importance of the Constitution. The Daughters of the American Revolution are proud to offer this reminder.

Reflecting on the many challenges that the Constitutional framers faced and the pressures - political, moral and life threatening - you can not help but believe a higher hand played a major role in framing our country. Most historians will tell you that if you look into the private lives of the founding fathers you might find what some consider character flaws.

Yet with these human weaknesses, the framers of our Constitution looked beyond themselves to that higher power for the good of the people of the United States of America.

They risked their lives and the lives of their families for the principles outlined in the Constitution, whose preamble reads: "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, 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."

As we approach this year's elections we are offered various descriptions of the character of those running for this country's highest office. We may hear unflattering descriptions that cause us to despise the opportunity afforded us by the Constitution, to exercise our right to vote.

If you find yourself questioning whether you should vote, the Daughters of the American Revolution ask you to reflect during Constitution Week on the many sacrifices that were given to keep the rights provided by the Constitution.

We ask you to take advantage of the opportunity established by the Constitution to express your views by voting for your representatives. Let us take this week to reflect on the Constitution and not overlook the sacrifices made by those who represent us as the Constitution prescribes.

Gov. Sonny Perdue and Gainesville Mayor Myrtle W. Figueras have signed proclamations designating Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week. For the principles documented in the Constitution of the United States of America, many have given their lives.

As we celebrate Constitution Week, let us keep in mind those who have fought and given their lives for a document with which a small group of leaders produced "the most remarkable work known by the human intellect, at a single stroke."

Melinda J. Wade is Constitution Week chairman of the Colonel William Candler Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Flowery Branch.



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