Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

December 19, 2013

Another View: Remember these principles

Ten days before Pearl Harbor was bombed, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a proclamation that very soon would represent all that was held dear in America.

The nation didn’t know on Nov. 27, 1941, what was ahead of them.

But Congress did realize the importance of what had come before.

That’s why members of Congress then passed a joint resolution authorizing the president to designate Dec. 15, 1941, as Bill of Rights Day.

The first 10 amendments became a part of the Constitution of the United States on Dec. 15, 1791.

In his proclamation, Roosevelt wrote:

“It is especially fitting that this anniversary should be remembered and observed by those institutions of a democratic people which owe their very existence to the guarantees of the Bill of Rights: the free schools, the free churches, the labor unions, the religious and educational and civic organizations of all kinds which, without the guarantee of the Bill of Rights, could never have existed; which sicken and disappear whenever, in any country, these rights are curtailed or withdrawn.

“The fifteenth day of December, 1941, is therefore set apart as a day of mobilization for freedom and for human rights, a day of remembrance of the democratic and peaceful action by which these rights were gained, a day of reassessment of their present meaning and their living worth.”

We could not say it better than Roosevelt, but today, on the anniversary of the Bill of Rights, we think it only fitting to reprint the First Amendment, which embodies all that is good and meaningful about being an American:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

It’s a good day for America to reaffirm the principles of the Bill of Rights.

The Joplin Globe

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