Constitution Day & Citizenship Day: A Holiday for Every American
The United States as we know it today is as diverse as any nation can be. It truly is a remarkable thing when the people as a whole, regardless of culture and background, can all unite and stand behind one banner. Whether you’re from Asian, Irish, African, Indian, or any other descent; this country is truly the place you can call home. After all, it’s not called The Land of The Free for nothing (Collections – Dems for USA). Inclusiveness is a core principle of this country and each and every day we strive as a society to deepen and embed this principle into our culture. Granted this country was not as diverse in the beginning but it takes time to overcome such ways and we have thus far done an admirable job in doing just that. On Constitution Day & Citizenship Day, we celebrate the signing of the Constitution as well as, with equal importance, the immigrants who strived to become citizens in this great land. Here is a quick history of the meaning behind this day and how it transformed over the years to reflect the message it currently does.
On September 17, 1787 seventy-four people were selected to attend the Constitutional Convention, but given particular circumstances only fifty-five delegates were present and furthermore only thirty-seven actually signed the document. This document would forevermore change the course of history & would ultimately set the highest example for any other democratic nation to follow. Contrary to popular belief the consent and approval among all the delegates present was far from unanimous; in every sense of the word. One particular example of negative feedback was that of Alexander Hamilton who called the final draft of the Constitution a “weak and worthless fabric” due to its watered down content and many compromises/revisions. Many delegates hoped it would endure at least a generation, however to their would be astonishment this fantastic piece of brilliant ideological work has endured multiple generations as well as centuries with few revisions made since. Granted this document was drafted by an all caucasion-male group but they were diverse in their age differential as well as their mindsets pertaining to different cultures. “All men are created equal” is one consensus these men all agreed upon and it has stood the test of time to this very day.
In 1940, the POTUS and both the House and the Senate passed a law making the third Sunday in May Citizenship Day. In the words of U.S House Representative Thaddeus Wasielewski:
“The purpose of this Act was to give recognition to all those who, by coming of age or naturalization, have attained the status of citizenship...I wonder how many people in this country really know the true story of the origin of this day. I wonder how many people know that a simple act of charity of a foreign-born citizen was the motivating spark which has set in motion this movement to teach all citizens to appreciate the great honor and privilege which has been bestowed upon them when they assume their sovereign rights of citizenship.”
Credit is given to Mrs. A.B Vajda, as she was a Hungarian immigrant of the United States. In 2017, amidst a disaster of a presidency the former President Trump made September 17 of every year Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. September 17 is by definition an American celebration worth every bit of attention and respect that one can get.
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