Why do we celebrate the Constitution today and not, say, June 21, 1788? After all, the Constitution did not go into effect until 9 states ratified it, and New Hampshire was the 9th on that date. If Constitution Day does not celebrate the Constitution going into effect, then what does it celebrate?
On September 17, 1787, the Constitutional Convention submitted the freshly completed Constitution to the states for ratification. In the ensuing months, Americans of all stripes presented arguments in favor of and opposed to the Constitution and the regime it would eventually found. We may say, therefore, that Constitution Day celebrates the great conversation that raged between advocates and adversaries to the Constitution, calling to mind the power, precision, and comprehensiveness of James Madison, Patrick Henry, and others. It also helps us to remember the primacy of states in that conversation. Today, our attention and interest tend to be drawn toward the national government, causing us to forget the importance of states as bulwarks of liberty. Over and again in the state conventions, friends of the Constitution emphasized the need for a union of states, not a consolidation of them. Finally, Constitution Day helps us to remember that the Constitution was and is an experiment. It stands or falls by the character and understanding of American citizens.
At Golden View Classical Academy, we call ourselves the Sentinels. We do this because we think there are some things that are worth defending and that will fail without defenders. Constitutional, limited government is one such thing, and we are happy to be celebrating Constitution Day along with our families and country.