Howdy from Independence Hall in Philadelphia! Actually we just entered Interstate 95 South! Cathy, Juliette and I are returning from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. Cathy is driving, Juliette is editing the behind the scene video and I am typing tonight’s essay on Federalist Paper No. 34 which Cathy and I are doing in tandem.

Cathy, Juliette and I were in Philadelphia scouting locations for our Constitution Day celebration of our Constituting America, “We the People 9.17 Contest” winners. It is going to be so much fun!! We are planning our events, which will include press opportunities, regional and national; entertainment;  historical enlightenment and a bevy of educational wonders.

We visited the brilliant National Constitution Center, and we are excited to reveal the news that they have offered to exhibit ALL of the winners’ works at the center. Our winners’ works will be a part of the legacy honoring the United States Constitution. Our winners will also stand as a tribute to American citizens and other children regarding the value of knowing and respecting our Constitution.

The minute we walked into the doors of the Constitution Center we were enveloped by the magnificence of our founding fathers’ document. The details about the Constitution, exhibited in both a formal and modern way, instantly intrigued our senses. They had mesmerizing movies and interactive information at our fingertips and we wanted to stay for days.

One of our favorite places was the Signers’ Hall, which had statues of all of the signers of the United States Constitution, in animated conversation. It was so cool!! (Be sure to watch our Philadelphia behind the scenes video!) David Eisner, the President and CEO of the Constitution Center, has offered to have a screening, reading and performance of our winners essays, songs and short film (and the behind the scene documentary we are going to film of the winners) in the Kirby Theatre in front of a distinguished audience and press.

We then joined our Constitutional colleague and friend, Rochelle, who guided us through other visually stimulating opportunities in front of momentous monuments such as Independence Hall!! The winner’s trip to Philadelphia is going to be an enriching experience for all of us and an inspiring event for the country.

If you haven’t yet encouraged your children or children you know to join our “We the People 9.17 Contest” then please do so. There still is ample time! Entries are due July 4th.

Now we turn our attention to Federalist Paper No. 34.
The topics are varied in this paper but there were a couple of Alexander Hamilton’s statements that captivated Cathy’s and my interest.

“Let us recollect, that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambitions, of others.”

“To judge from the history of mankind, we shall be compelled to conclude, that the fiery and destructive passions of war reign in the human breast with much more powerful sway, than the mild and beneficent sentiments of peace; and that to model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquility, would be to calculate on the weaker springs of the human character.”

These two paragraphs represent Alexander Hamilton’s
genius and foresight. However “mild and beneficent” we may be, we are powerless to “extinguish the ambition of others.” How relevant is this statement to the challenges we face today with terrorism. A strong defense is the only rational choice when up against the “fiery and destructive passions of war” that weave within the fiber of human nature. If we do not remain vigilant then we will be basing our decisions along side the “weaker springs of the human character.” History has proven this time and time again and our forefathers always based their decisions upon the lessons of history.

When one doubts the timely application of the writings of the Federalist Papers and the resiliency of the Constitution, one needs to simply become acquainted with the phrases such as these by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist Paper No. 34.

America is under attack, and unfortunately will continue to be. We must not align ourselves with the weaker side of human nature. We must always be readily prepared to carry the torch of peace, freedom and prosperity with the wiser forces of human nature: wisdom, willingness, and a watchful eye that is buoyed by a strength and fortitude that defies the enemy.

God bless from now Mount Vernon, Virginia!

Janine Turner &
Cathy Gillespie

Monday, June 14th, 2010

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