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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
West Point in Orange County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Our National Heritage

 
 
Our National Heritage Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 5, 2009
1. Our National Heritage Marker
Inscription. These plaques, which attempt to convey the spirit and essence of our national heritage as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, have been added to this inspiring overlook on the 50th anniversary of our graduation from West Point and on the 200th anniversary of the ratification of the Constitution.

The Class of 1938

The Declaration of Independence
Its essence
*   *   *   *
. . We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government laying its foundations on such principles and organizing its powers in such forms, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
*   *   *   *
We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority
Declaration of Independence Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 5, 2009
2. Declaration of Independence Marker
of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.
July 7, 1776

The United States Constitution
An overview

We The People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

These simple words preface the Constitution, a document that expresses the enduring values of the American people and focuses the loyalty of their Armed Forces. It is the Constitution that all military personnel pledge to “support and defend against
The United States Constitution Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 5, 2009
3. The United States Constitution Marker
all enemies . . . ”
Drafted to replace the Articles of Confederation, the Constitution was signed and submitted for ratification in 1787. It establishes a government of limited and separated powers. Shared responsibility and divided authority provide safeguards against tyranny but place unusual burdens on the conduct of the affairs of the nation. As an example, the President is Commander-in-Chief but the Congress raises, supports and regulates the Armed Forces. Both the Executive and Legislative authorities are subject to the persuasive power of an independent Judiciary.
Two major omissions prejudiced popular support: protection of individual freedoms, and definition of residual power of the several states. A general commitment to rectify these shortcomings ensured ratification the Constitution in 1788 and, three years later, the entry into force of ten amendments, collectively known as the Bill of Rights. Thus, the Republic’s framework provides for balance between liberty and equality and weighs the corporate interests of the nation and the rights of individuals and the states.
Our enlightened Founding Fathers recognized that the Constitution they designed must keep up with the times and developments of mankind. On sixteen occasions since 1791, the American people have adjusted their frame of government to reflect the dynamic world in which it functions.
Steadfastly
West Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 5, 2009
4. West Point Marker
The Our National Heritage marker is seen here between The Declaration of Independence (left) and Constitution of the United States(right) markers.
allegiant to our Constitution, we remain one people, one nation under God, seeking peace, freedom and opportunity for all.
 
Erected 1988 by USMA Class of 1938.
 
Location. 41° 23.752′ N, 73° 57.352′ W. Marker is in West Point, New York, in Orange County. Marker can be reached from Washington Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located at the Class of 1938 Overlook of Trophy Point at the U.S. Military Academy. Marker is in this post office area: West Point NY 10996, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. West Point in the American Revolution (here, next to this marker); Constitution Island (here, next to this marker); Sherburne’s Redoubt (a few steps from this marker); In Memoriam (a few steps from this marker); The Great Chain (a few steps from this marker); Wars That Shaped the Nation (within shouting distance of this marker); Fred E. McAniff & John R. Parker (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Wars That Shaped the Nation (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Point.
 
Categories. Patriots & Patriotism
 
Markers at Trophy Point image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 5, 2009
5. Markers at Trophy Point
There are several markers found at the Class of 1938 Overlook. The Constitution of the United States marker can be seen at the extreme left in the photo.
View from the Class of 1938 Overlook image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 5, 2009
6. View from the Class of 1938 Overlook
The Hudson River, as seen from the marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 12, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 613 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 12, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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