Next week I’ll begin receiving my social security benefits, I guess I’ll have to concede I’m getting old and, as my Mom would say, I’m on the downhill side of this thing.  Nice! Nothing morbid about it.  We come, life passes by and then off we go again, nothing complicated about it. 

I’ve been very fortunate.  Being on the “downhill side of this thing” is working out ok.  I have no regrets, 

Probably one of the proudest things for me is being able to live in the United States.  My grandparents immigrated here from Germany and the Azores Islands at the beginning of the 20th Century and The Bill of Rights was exactly why they came. 

I was going to comment on each of these amendments but instead I think this will just be a post to remind myself and others of our remarkable Bill of Rights which allows us to live in a just and civilized society.  I am so grateful for that.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Bill of Rights - 1st Amendment

A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Bill of Rights - 2nd Amendment

No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Bill of Rights - 3rd Amendment

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

Bill of Rights - 4th Amendment

No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

Bill of Rights - 5th Amendment

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Bill of Rights - 6th Amendment

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States than according to the rules of the common law.

Bill of Rights - 7th Amendment

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Bill of Rights - 8th Amendment

The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Bill of Rights - 9th Amendment

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Bill of Rights - 10th Amendment

For more information see the National Constitution Center.