The Bill of Rights literally defines America. So why don’t we celebrate Dec. 15, the day it was ratified, with as much importance as we celebrate July 4th, the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence?
The United States of America might never have existed without one thing: the Bill of Rights. This document limits the power of the government and protects the rights of the people. It enshrines “inalienable” rights our founders believed no government has the right to take away from individuals. It was so important that several of the original 13 states refused to ratify the Constitution without it.
Nearly everything that makes an American proud to be one comes from the Bill of Rights. Freedoms to speak, print, read, assemble, pray, petition the government, keep and bear arms. Protection from unreasonable arrests and searches, excessive bail, double jeopardy, coerced confessions, cruel and unusual punishment. Rights to due process, jury trials, counsel, and to present defense witnesses. These are the freedoms and rights that define America.
Surprisingly, Americans don’t celebrate this foundation of our political freedom, the Bill of Rights — but we should. The Bill of Rights is a vital part of our Constitution which our military people pledge to serve and die for. It is uniquely American. People of the political left, center, and right can all rally around the Bill of Rights because it expresses our shared basic values.
The Bill of Rights has protected Americans for 218 years. We should celebrate Dec. 15 every year by officially designating that date as Bill of Rights Day, and thus remind our fellow citizens and younger generations of our heritage.
Bill of Rights Day declares America’s commitment to civil and human rights to the world. This special day also annually reminds politicians, bureaucrats, prosecutors, and judges that their authority and power are limited — that the government serves us Americans, it does not rule us.
Bill of Rights Day reminds us of the precious liberties we have, and what it costs to keep them. By celebrating Bill of Rights Day, Dec. 15, every year, perhaps we shall never forget.