Today, our last day of sightseeing in Philadelphia, we spent at the National Constitution Center. The center opened in 2003 in a spacious modern building on the opposite side of the mall from Independence Hall. Designed to teach civic knowledge, public action and democratic deliberation, the center does so through a variety of interactive exhibits and the “Hall of Signers,” a collection of life-sized bronze statues of each of those present at the Constitutional Convention. Even the three men who did not sign are portrayed. Upon our arrival, we were ushered into a small circular hall with seats rising high up along its sides. Our group of teachers sympathetically watched the hoards of school children and their unfortunate chaperones file into the room until it was filled. Music played as we waited in the dim light. We could hear snippets of historical music, not just colonial, but spanning the centuries of our country’s past. Then, a young woman walked into the center of the hall. She was dressed simply, a long black coat to her knees, black pants and boots and a white blouse. A light shone on her as she began to recite, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, 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.” Then, she stopped and said, once more, “We the People.” From there, she narrated, in seventeen minutes, a brief history of our country and the formation and evolution of our constitution. Around her wove lights, pictures and music as we watched the colonists cross the ocean, saw the arguments over liberty and what freedom would mean, the struggles for civil rights for women and blacks, and how even today, the meaning of our constitution is being debated. There is something inside of me that wells up with patriotism at such things. Parades, military formations, flag raisings. This was no different. My throat closed with emotion, and I began to cry as I thought about those who have struggled and given their lives for me and for my children so we might live in freedom. Scenes from naturalization ceremonies heightened my feelings as I thought how many people around the world would give all they have to secure the Blessings of Liberty. As the performance drew to a close, she once again repeated the words, “We the People.” Then, she raised her hand and pointed to the audience. “What will you do with your freedom?” she asked. She turned and pointed a different direction, “What will you do with your freedom? And you, and you, and you, and me, and you?” She continued to turn until each section of the room had been questioned. Then, the lights dimmed once more, and silently we filed from the room. What will you do with your freedom?