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Bill of Rights Day: what Obama says about it

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Happy Bill of Rights Day! Yes, 218 years ago to the day, the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution took effect, following their ratification by three-fourths of the states.

OK, so Dec. 15 is not exactly a patriotic holiday on a par with July 4. But President Obama did issue a proclamation a few days ago. It covered Bill of Rights Day, Human Rights Day (Dec. 10), and Human Rights Week (the week beginning Dec. 10) – a sort of three-for-one verbal commemoration.

“[C]ertain rights are universal: the freedom of people ... to live as they choose, speak their minds, organize peacefully and have a say in how they are governed, with confidence in the rule of law,” said Mr. Obama’s proclamation. “History shows that countries that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, secure, and successful.”

In the United States, these fundamental rights are the core of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, Obama said.

“They are the values that define us as a people, the ideals that challenge us to perfect our union, and the liberties that generations of Americans have fought to preserve at home and abroad,” said the president.


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