Presented by history and global studies teacher Peter Gunn during The Williston Northampton School’s all-school meeting on September 19, 2012.
Good morning. A few of you have already heard what I am about to share, but I believe the two anniversaries of this week deserve a wider audience—and a moment of silent reflection and appreciation in our community.
On September 17th, 1787 thirty-seven American delegates signed the US Constitution and sent it to the states for ratification by convention. Rarely are countries born out of and built upon a set of ideas. The United States is one such country. While less familiar to our ear than Thomas Jefferson’s affirmation in the Declaration of Independence “that all men are created equal”, the preamble written by James Madison includes a sweeping expression of American ideals:
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.
Over the past 225 years this document has served our nation well and contributed to positive political developments around the world.