Lynne Cheney on the Constitution

Our voice this week is Lynne Cheney. The vice president's wife has spent much of her professional life encouraging Americans to learn more about our history, and our Constitution is one of her passions too.

Lynne Cheney: Our Constitution, of course, is a very old and venerable document. What the document did, and does to this day, is give us a mechanism for expanding the ideas that have so inspired the whole world, to expand those ideas so that they include everyone. I've done Constitution Day for four or five years with George Washington, who is just spectacular.

Part of the reason kids don't study history as much as I'd like them to is because we're such a forward-looking people. You know, we're always thinking about tomorrow and not yesterday. So in a way it's part of our culture, but it is important that we try to look back -- because there are people in our history who have forced us to look back to the first principles of the Constitution and to see that they apply to everyone.

So I love to tell kids about the people who were involved. Sometimes I tell them about how different life was then. You know, people were late. The constitutional convention started, I think it was, 11 days late -- because roads were so bad, you couldn't count on being able to get across the creek.

I've written for children a long time. But then, when I had grandchildren, it seemed just a perfect way to talk to them about history, to write a book, you know.

They're not going to absorb it by osmosis. We have to teach the upcoming generation about, you know, the great founding documents. So freedom has been an effort from the beginning, and it will require our effort and the effort of upcoming generations for the United States to remain the great and free country that it is.