Our View: Marching Presidents shouldn’t be missed
The Famous Marching Presidents and First Ladies of Nevada City gather each year in honor of a clunky document.
The U.S. Constitution has taken its share of beatings over the years. It’s had portions ripped out and others amended. Some parts — looking at you, Third Amendment — no longer have any bearing on our nation. Others lead to never ending fights.
Its mechanisms move sluggishly. The leaders who attain power enshrined in the document rarely live up to its lofty ideals.
Still, the U.S. Constitution remains a beacon of freedom in a cloudy sea of monarchy and tyranny. It’s persevered through the worst times and shone during the best.
It’s only fitting we recognize the importance of the Constitution while watching the presidents pass by.
At 1:30 p.m. Sept. 15 a reenactment of the Constitution’s signing will happen at Broad and Pine streets in Nevada City. At 2 p.m. that day the presidents and their first ladies will once again parade down Broad Street.
Let’s hope Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison keep things civil.
Dressing up as presidents and their wives may seem odd to outsiders, as well as some locals. However, this annual event is a gem of our community. It showcases Nevada City and honors one of our nation’s founding documents.
In a time when it’s difficult to look up from our cell phones, the Constitution Day celebration gives us a chance to remember who we are and what brought us here.
And you won’t find this parade anywhere else.
Partisan groups may participate in this parade, though the event itself has no political affiliation. This march is about the document that shapes our federal government, as well as ourselves.
The Constitution is a document to be revered, but it’s also a reflection of the people who wrote it and every generation that followed.
We’ve fought for its ideals over two centuries. It’s worth marching for one day a year.
Parade attendance has seemingly declined over the years, for whatever reason. Maybe the heat keeps some folks away. Others might be turned off by overly political groups.
Perhaps a smaller Nevada City School District has contributed to smaller crowds. Fewer kids in the parade mean fewer adults watching.
Regardless of the reason, this is a parade that shouldn’t be missed.
The people who broke away from their government in armed revolution fought in order to create the government established in the U.S. Constitution. Battlefields gave way to political arguments, and finally compromises that exist to this day.
The arguments we have today are far removed from the days when people fought and died for the right to self-governance. But there are core elements that Americans have carried with them through the centuries.
We will establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare. We secure liberty not only for ourselves, but our children and their children, for as long as this country exists.
And despite any internal struggle its population experiences, this nation will exist for a long time.
Sure, the Constitution is clunky. It’s old. It’s got cracks.
But it’s ours, and it deserves our honor.
Our View is the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.
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