As Chairman of the Congressional Constitution Caucus, I am proud to celebrate Constitution Day this Saturday, September 17. On this day in 1787, after years of painstaking debate, 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the greatest protection of life, liberty and property the world has ever seen.
Many often forget that the ideas of liberty and freedom our Founding Fathers committed to in the Declaration of Independence in 1776 took eleven years to manifest. Victories on battlefields during the Revolutionary War paved the way for freedom, but a great deal of work was yet to be done.
As I wrote in my op-ed in today's Washington Times, understanding that the natural tendency of government is the perpetual growth of power at the expense of personal freedom, the Founding Fathers sought to provide our republic with a set of laws expressly written "to secure the blessings of liberty."
We are now faced with the same question that has been asked of every American before us: How will you protect it? We cannot simply enjoy the liberties and freedoms the Constitution provides; it is every American's duty to protect and secure those liberties and freedoms for future generations.
When Benjamin Franklin exited the Constitutional Convention, he was approached by a woman who asked, "Well, Doctor, what we have got - a republic or a monarchy?" To which Benjamin Franklin replied, "A republic, if you can keep it."
And keep it we must.
God bless the Constitution and God bless the United States of America.