Athens Review, Athens, Texas

September 17, 2013

County honors nation’s finest

It was part of Constitution Day

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — The Henderson County Commissioners Court took some time on Constitution Day Tuesday to honor the document that provides the framework for our nation’s government.

The court approved a proclamation designating the week Sept. 16 through Sept. 20 as Constitution Week in Henderson County and gathered to sign the document after the close of the meeting.

Constitution Day has been a federal holiday since 2004. It is observed on Sept. 17, the date that the document was signed in 1787 in Philadelphia.

Dr. Charles Luna  of the Athens Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution told the Commissioners Court crowd that the author of the document, James Madison, is sometimes not as well remembered as some of the founding fathers, but his wisdom is evident throughout the Constitution. His sayings also seem to have been uttered with an eye on the events of today.

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation’s,” Luna quoted Madison as saying.

Another quote that translates to the 21st century is, “If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy,” Madison said.

Madison stood 5-feet and 4-inches tall, and weighted less than 100 pounds, but his writings carry a lot of weight today, Luna said.

“It’s a shame we don’t have someone like him,” Luna said.

Luna said Madison spoke more than 200 times at the Constitutional Convention and was respected by all of the members there for his knowledge of the subject.

County Judge Richard Sanders led the commissioners and audience in reciting the Preamble to the Constitution.

“I think it’s very important that we look at the Preamble and the Constitution,” Sanders said. “We, as Americans, need to do what we can to preserve that memory and preserve the Constitution.”