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Commemorating the US Constitution

HJI commemorated US Constitution Day with an important program entitled “The US Constitution and the UN Charter: Key Similarities and Differences” presented by HJI President, Dr. Thomas G. Walsh. The event was hosted by HJI Provost, Thomas J. Ward and HJI Dean of Enrollment Management and Student Life, Steven Boyd, gave the welcoming remarks. During Dean Boyd’s warm welcome, he explained that all higher education institutions which receive federal funding are required to hold an educational program honoring the US constitution that was signed in 1787.

Following the welcoming remarks, Dr. Thomas Ward pointed out that “many countries around the world have laws and institutions, but one of the ways in which the US distinguished itself from its very inception was that it did not just have law, but it had rule of law.” He explained that the rule of law gives confidence to all citizens that they will be treated according to what is written in the US Constitution.

Dr. Walsh has been actively involved with the UN for over three decades, engaging with the UN Secretary General, presidents of the General Assembly, and other key officials. Dr. Walsh began his presentation noting that HJI founders, Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, spent over 40 years in ministry in the US, valuing the importance of the constitution, democracy and religious freedom. The founders spoke on multiple occasions at the United Nations headquarters in New York, as well as at other UN headquarters around the world.

Dr. Walsh emphasized that “as citizens we have the responsibility to understand our history, our constitution, and our form of government.” He stated that the constitution set the standard for many modern democratic nation states, as well as the League of Nations and the UN, both of which institutions were spearheaded by US presidents. He explained that freedom of religion is essential for peace, and that both the US and the UN underscore its importance. Throughout his presentation he outlined the structural similarities and differences between the US Constitution and the UN Charter, and outlined many challenges that need to be addressed in current times. Furthermore, he encouraged the audience by saying that “if you hope to change the world and make it better, the more we learn, the more effective we can be in our efforts.”

The program concluded with an insightful dialogue between Dr. Walsh and Dr. Ward, and a lively Q&A session with the audience.

You can watch the recording here.