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Reader's view: Who are ‘we the people?’

Civic leader Tom Wheeler’s May 23 “Local View” column, “It’s time to focus on ‘we the people,’ ” invited the question: Who are “we the people”?

Our Founding Fathers did not use this phrase lightly. They knew their young country was not a united country. They knew what national loyalty there was existed mainly along the eastern sea coast. Settlers in the West paid scant attention to the U.S. government. Their orientation was local.

That’s why the writers of the preamble to the Constitution

didn’t say “we the delegates.” They wanted the idea of one country to become part of the thinking of every single citizen. Wheeler would have us return to that same level of loyalty and morality.

I respectfully suggest we take Wheeler’s idea another step, a challenging step that would help preserve and protect the union.

Let’s agree to establish a “Bill of Rights Day” in Duluth. Such a day would lead us back naturally to a study of the Magna Carta out of which came the ideas for several of the 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights. By way of example, freedom of religion is the first clause in the Magna Carta and the first article in the Bill of Rights.

We could learn what life was like in a society with no freedom, where all the political power was vested in the king of England and in the pope, and how the unknown concept called freedom was born and survived.

Important for us today is that we could learn anew why freedom remains the highest political achievement of mankind and why it is so important that we stay on keen alert protecting it.

How do we bring about this exciting day of study and respectful observance?

Ray Pearson