Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Constitution Day, September 17th

Constitution Day

What? You haven't heard of Constitution Day? You probably missed the USA Today article; it's a little small. If you want an article with a little more substance, check out The Washington Post, which is mostly an interview with Chief Justice John Roberts. (Or, here is also this article, which isn't so neutral about the state of the nation in relation to the Constitution.)

Personally, I think it's interesting that this holiday is not celebrated much in the press, because this holiday came into being at the request of William Randolph Hearst. The press should be all over this holiday! All in all, since we don't get a day off, Constitution Day has probably become just an elementary school holiday, an opportunity to teach about the Constitution. But, I think that there should be more.

Constitution Day is also known as Citizenship Day, which was Hearst's original intention when he promoted the day. I know that I take my citizenship for granted sometimes, and I think that I don't understand totally what citizenship means. In school we were evaluated with every report card about our citizenship. But, I wonder how good of a citizen I am without the reminder every six weeks? Does being a good citizen require that I drive the speed limit, as it once required that I not run in the hallways? Does it require that I recycle, constantly, always, even when it's not convenient, as it once required that I keep my desk clean? Does it require that I be kind and respectful, to everyone I encounter, even if I might be the Utah State Senate Majority Leader and I am dealing with a pizza delivery girl, as it once required that I be kind and respectful to my teachers and fellow students? I wonder, in our society do we demand more of our children as citizens than we do of our adults?

I'm not sure why I feel so strongly about this today. Maybe because yesterday I heard this story on NPR about "silent raves," where large groups of people get together to dance to their own music on their i-pods. It seems like a excellent example of American freedom... you don't even have to listen to the same music as the person next to you at a dance, yet it seems so isolated, so detached, and I am afraid that we are losing our concept of "we the people..."

1 comment:

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