How can you celebrate Honor America Days?

729px-1885_History_of_US_flags_medWe are in the time frame established by Congress in which they declare:

…that there be public gatherings and activities during that period at which the people of the United States can celebrate and honor their country in an appropriate way.

The City of Rome, New York takes Honor America Days to heart. Many are unaware of it because it does not specify picnics, barbeques or drinking green beer.

So what could one do to honor America during this time? There are several things and they do not take up too much of your time.

You can start by practicing using the term Independence Day instead of July 4th. July 4th is just a date on a calander. Independence is what it is all about. The Declaration of Independence is readily available online. Why not take time to read what the causes of Independence were? Read them with your family. Why not study the Bill of Rights? [Oddly enough the government archives web site gives a 400 error on these topics.]

One important fact of the Bill of Rights is often overlooked; perhaps purposely. The main effect of the anti-Federalist arguments was to get a Bill of Rights attached to the Constitution in the form of the First Ten Amendments. A Bill of Rights was not a popular idea among the Federalists. They argued that if a specific list of rights were added to the Constitution, the Congress would trample on other rights of American citizens. It was felt that the Constitution fully protected the rights of citizens from the evils expressed in the Declaration of Independence. People knew their rights. For example they knew that people had the right to private property which could never be taken away for any reason (except for public purposes such as roads as expressed in the Fifth Amendment). They knew that people had the right to do with their property what they wanted so long as it did not affect the property of their neighbors.

They did not bank on Woodrow Wilson.

James Madison was most adimant against a Bill of Rights. Yet in the first Congress under the new Constitution, he—among others—proposed 12 amendments. Ten were added forming the unalienable Bill of RIghts—meaning they could never be revoked. Because it was proposed as law, it came with a Preamble. That Premable read, in part:


Congress OF THE United States
begun and held at the City of New York, on Wednesday
the Fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution

Incidentally, the Bill of Rights were not written in order of importance. The government of the United States—the people—cannot enforce a First Amendment without utilizing the true intent of the Second Amendment.

The government approved Federalist Papers were used convince the people to accept the newly written Constitution. These are the most cited in court cases and so-on. There were others who argued for the Constitution as well as those who argued against. Essays on the Constitution of the United States by Paul Leicester Ford represents several arguments from both sides. The Federalist Papers Project has some anti-Federalist arguments on their site. Infoplease has a more extensive listing on their web site.

If you prefer a more regimented course of action, Hillsdale College has free online courses that you can sign up for. They have courses on the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, American Literature and more. The courses feature a video lecture, required reading and examinations to test what you have learned.

Another source of information is which has many old videos used in American schools through the sixties. They also have a number of audio books and audio read by volunteers you can download. Such as 1984 by George Orwell who became disillusioned by Communism. Project Gutenberg has hundreds of thousands of books online which you can download and print. These two sources have thousands of other entertainment selections, as well.

The one thing that is commonly misunderstood is that liberty and freedom does not mean the freedom to do whatever you want. The volume on your stereo stops where another has to listen, for example. One cannot dump toxic chemicals into a stream that runs through the property of another.

It is highly unlikely that you will get through all of the references we have presented here by Independence Day. The purpose of this article is simply to show that resources for self-education do exist. You do not have to have a time frame specified by Congress to use them.