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Constitution Day matters

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Happy Constitution Day. In fact, happy Constitution Week, along with best wishes for Citizen's Day on Saturday and Bill of Rights Day in December.

If these holidays don't ring a bell, they will. Bell ringing is slated to be a big part of each celebration.

The holidays are the latest response of Americans to the growing discord and tension in the world. Most of these holidays are new. Constitution Day has been celebrated for only seven years now. But they all show that the hearts and minds of America are looking to sift through the shifting sands of chaos and find some bedrock.

On Sept. 17, 1787, the Constitution of the United States was signed. Those entrusted with the duty to craft the document had slaved over it for six months, hoping to give existing documents an American flavor. Finally, they decided to scrap their plans and forge something completely original. The new version began with the words "We the people."

This week, hundreds of events are slated to commemorate the signing. Several Utah communities are on board. In Logan, for instance, three days have been set aside to honor the Constitution with speeches, flag ceremonies and an Air Force fly-over. Across the nation, school children will be reading aloud the preamble to the Constitution with President Bush today, a roll call of states will come from California and people will be flying the flag and dressing in red, white and blue. Dozens of politicians and patriotic groups are on the band wagon.

The fact the day comes just one week after the commemoration of Sept. 11 has not been lost on organizers. Neither has the fact that controversies over The Patriot Act, The Pledge of Allegiance and various amendments to the Constitution have heightened the awareness — and the rhetoric — about American freedoms and what they entail.

We commend those who take the time to honor the Constitution. Cutting through the superficialities and getting back to the solid center of American life is always a good idea.

We encourage everyone to pause and reflect for a moment this week, to read the Constitution and think of their country. When turmoil looms, the best approach is a return to the rock-solid basics. And there is nothing more basic than the Constitution.