Thursday, September 17, 2009

Quote of the Day

As the years go by I am more than ever convinced that the Constitution of the United States is the greatest instrument of government that ever issued from the hand of man. Drawn up in the infancy of our Republic, and amid the fears and suspicions and opposition of many patriotic men, it has weathered the storm periods of American public life and has proved elastic enough to withstand every strain put upon it by party spirit, Western development, world-wide immigration, wars little and great, far-reaching social and economic changes, inventions and discoveries, the growth of individual wealth and the vagaries of endless reformers.

That within the short space of one hundred years we have grown to be a great nation, so much so that to-day the United States is rightly regarded as the first among the nations of the earth, is due to the Constitution, the palladium of our liberties and the landmark in our march of progress.

When George Washington secured its final adoption, largely out of respect for his judgment and as a tribute of confidence in him, he made all mankind his debtor forever, for the Constitution has proved the bulwark of every right and every fair promise that the American Revolution stood for. With the Constitution came the solidarity and the union which has marked our progress up to now; without it we would have remained thirteen independent colonies, with the passions and prejudices peculiar to each. For all time to come may it remain the instrument safeguarding our national life and insuring us the liberties and freedom which it guarantees.
--Cardinal James Gibbons (1834-1921)
Ninth Archbishop of Baltimore
Washington's Birthday, 22 February 1921

Today, 17 September, is Constitution Day -- the 212th anniversary of the founding document's approval and signing at the close of the Philadelphia convention that drafted it.