It has long been held that we should honour our past soldiers, to that honour I say that we should add thanks and deference.
It seems not too fanciful to say that the prelates and barons of Runnymede, building better than they knew, laid the foundations of that plan of Written or Rigid Constitutions which has now covered the world from Peru to China.Both had the character, to those who enacted them, not so much of what we call legal commands as of Solemn Covenants.Magna Carta is a series of engagements contracted by the Crown with the magnates of the realm, accepted by them, and authenticated by the King’s Great Seal.Thus the Charter of 1215 was the starting-point of the constitutional history of the English race, the first link in a long chain of constitutional instruments which have moulded men’s minds and held together free governments not only in England but wherever the English race has gone and the English tongue is spoken.The Bill of Rights was in the thoughts of those who framed the first Constitutions of Massachusetts and Virginia when the North American Colonies renounced their allegiance to the British Crown; and much of the document of 1689 was incorporated in those Constitutions.From them the old provisions, largely in the original words of the Great Charter, passed into the Federal Constitution of the United States when it was drafted in 1787 and adopted, with the first ten amendments, between 17.Nor does the chain of historical sequence stop here. Among all of the ceremonies and silences that occur throughout the year, there is still a tendency for people to forget what they are commemorating and remembering. Throughout the course of this essay I will be discussing whether or not we should continue to commemorate wars, I will be mainly referring to Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday as my examples because these are the biggest commemorations for any of the wars in British history.The distinction between these elements had not been clearly drawn, either in Rome or in England, at the time of their enactment.But it was the private element that turned out to be of most consequence in the Roman case, the public or constitutional element in the English. The Twelve Tables were prepared and passed to meet the demand of the Roman plebs for some formal and permanent definition and limitation of the arbitrary executive authority exercised by the consuls, and they contained rules which gave some protection to the civil rights of the individual citizen.