Sample Op-Ed Letters

Please note — feedback from some newspapers suggests that they do not always favor verbatim Op-Ed type sample letters even if they approve the content, and so may choose not to publish. It is felt that simply signing a ready-made letter is a sort of 'cheat'. It would be better perhaps to use a sample letter as a basis but craft a personalized version, so as to avoid this criticism, which is most likely to occur when the same letter is received multiple times. This might help ensure best results.


Sample Letter to the Editor
(277 words)

Recently I learned about a movement to establish December 15 as Bill of Rights Day. I would like to urge our town to celebrate the Bill of Rights for several reasons.

First, the Bill of Rights declares the idea that makes America unique. We have rights as individuals, it says, and government must respect them. Most other countries do not have a constitution with such a clear statement.

Second, our Constitution would not have become the law of land without the Bill of Rights. Several states refused to join the Union unless the Bill of Rights was included. When Virginia ratified the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791, only then could the United States become a new nation.

Third, our military men and women have served, fought, and died to preserve the Constitution and our Bill of Rights. To celebrate Bill of Rights Day on December 15 would annually remind us of how their sacrifices preserved not just "the country," but some very specific guarantees of liberty.

Fourth, an annual Bill of Rights day would remind all members of government -- policemen, prosecutors, bureaucrats, judges, and politicians -- that government exists to serve, not to rule, the people.

Whether as individuals we are on the political Left or Right, whether we care passionately for one particular right or another, we should come together to celebrate our core values. Our civic core values lie in the Bill of Rights. We should set aside at least one day each year to read and ponder the rights we sometimes take for granted. What American could oppose the concept of preserving all of the Bill of Rights for all citizens?

Sample Op-ed Piece
(315 words)

The United States of America might never have existed without one thing: the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights limits the power of the government and protects the rights of the people. It was so important that several of the original 13 states would not ratify the Constitution without it.

Nearly everything that makes an American proud to be one comes from the Bill of Rights. Freedoms to speak, print, read, assemble, pray, petition the government, keep and bear arms. Protection from unreasonable arrests and searches, excessive bail, double jeopardy, coerced confessions, cruel and unusual punishment. Rights to due process, jury trials, counsel, and to present defense witnesses. These are the freedoms and rights that define America.

Surprisingly, Americans do not celebrate the foundation of our political freedom, the Bill of Rights -- but we should. After all, the Bill of Rights is part of our Constitution, it is what our military people pledge to serve and die for. It is uniquely American. People on the political left, center, and right can all rally around the Bill of Rights because it expresses our shared basic values.

On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified and has since protected American citizens for 206 years. We should celebrate December 15 every year. By officially designating December 15 as Bill of Rights Day, we would be reminding our fellow citizens and younger generations of our heritage. Bill of Rights Day would declare America's commitment to civil and human rights to the world. The special day would annually remind politicians, bureaucrats, prosecutors, and judges that their authority and power are limited -- that the government serves us Americans, it does not rule us.

December 15, Bill of Rights Day, reminds us of the liberty we have and what it costs to keep it. By celebrating Bill of Rights Day every year, perhaps we shall never forget.


Sample Op-ed Piece
(340 words)

The Bill of Rights defines America. Why don't we celebrate it?

The Constitution of the United States would never have become the law of the land without the Bill of Rights. Several states refused to join the Union unless there was a Bill of Rights to limit the federal power and protect individual rights. Why don't we celebrate it?

The Bill of Rights guarantees fundamental civil and human rights: the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, religion; protections against unreasonable searches and coerced confessions; rights to counsel and a jury trial. For these rights and freedoms people have struggled for centuries. The Bill of Rights remains a beacon to freedom-loving people worldwide. Why don't we celebrate it?

The Bill of Rights does more: it defines the limits of government power. More directly than any other single document of law, the Bill of Rights stands between tyranny and liberty. Refugees flee to the United States, not for its "three separate branches of government," not for its arrangement of senators and representatives, but for its liberty. The foundation of that liberty is the Bill of Rights. Why don't we celebrate it?

We have special days for the birthdays of great leaders, to remember special events, and to honor our military services. But all of these remarkable people and events aimed to advance the cause of liberty -- the cause of the Bill of Rights.

Let's celebrate it! Every town, city, and state should designate one day as Bill of Rights Day. The logical date would be December 15, because on that date in 1791 the Bill of Rights was finally ratified. Just one day per year, let us fly the flag, put up a poster, and most important of all: read the Bill of Rights. And read it to our kids, in libraries, in schools, in homes.

Let's celebrate December 15 as Bill of Rights Day, and declare our support for all of the Bill of Rights for all citizens. We owe it to our forefathers, and we owe it to our kids.

Let us hear how you celebrate Bill of Rights Day!
Don't forget to check out our Bill of Rights Day Kit!


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