By Ann Cipperly
With unrest and uncertainty within America, a movement born in Lee County proposes joining forces to celebrate what is right with our country, to work for a better future, and to treat every person with civility and respect. Leaders from every state have pledged to engage in restoring faith in America as part of the United States Trust For A More Perfect Union, with the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and its Alabama Office of the Courts as one of its working partners.
The US Trust has chosen as its shared vision to embrace the words “A More Perfect Union” from the Preamble of the Constitution. In its parts are seven elements, which are its tar- get opportunities. Spreading from Lee County to across the country is a renewed concern regarding how best to ordain our future by creating a leading model to rally around and to launch in a recall-to-citizenship.
Founder of the US Trust For A More Perfect Union, M. A. “Toby” Warren, is a long time Auburn resident. With his wife Charlotte “Char” Cox Warren, he is deeply engaged in the health and wellbeing of youth and veterans in Alabama and nationally with the VA, special- izing in civility, respect and engagement of community. Warren is a volunteer provider of services to assist veterans and their families with homelessness, legal services, education, employment, housing and suicide prevention through the Governor of Alabama’s AlaVetNet.
He has authored four books, Where Will We Be When We Get Where We’re Going, A General’s Spiritual Journey, A Tender Warrior, and My Dear Boy Jack. His fifth book, 27:17, A Personal Reflectio is being co-authored with Rev. Walter Albritton and will be released this year.
The initiative for “A More Perfect Union” began with LTG Hal Moore mentoring Warren as they traveled, studied and wrote together. For years, Warren listened, learned, and actedupon Moore’s vision for the America he loved and served. Near the end of life, Moore asked Warren to promise to “drive on” for veterans, youth and the nation by “creating the future.”
In January 2018, Warren began to fulfill the promise to Moore. By the end of the month, he had drafted the Declaration For A More Perfect Union honoring the Preamble.
In the early months of 2018, Warren asked LTG Ron Burgess of Auburn to “walk in Moore’s boots” in representing love of nation, the fl g and the Preamble. Burgess agreed.
An important matter to his work was Warren learning that two signers to the Declaration of
Independence are in the lineage of his wife’s family. Thomas McKean of Delaware, former governor of Pennsylvania and a delegate to the Continental Congress, and Frances Hopkinson of New Jersey who designed the two early versions of the American fl g, both married daughters of General James Cox, a family line of direct descendants.
On National Constitution Day, September 17, 2020, the Declaration was notarized, stamped and sealed in Opelika at MG Perry Smith’s office and witnessed by Rev/Dr. Clifford Jones of Opelika.
Along with Warren and Dr. Jones, the first signers were David Scott and Dora James, both from Opelika. Other signers included Chief Justice Tom Parker of the Alabama Supreme Court from Montgomery, Rear Admiral Kent Davis from Montgomery, Chancellor Jack Hawkins of the Troy University System, John Ed Mathison of Montgomery, and LTG Ron Burgess, Executive Vice President of Auburn University.
“In presentation to America in 2021, the US Trust comes not to provoke, but to fulfill the 1787 ordained Constitution,” states Chief Justice Tom Parker. “This most important movement for A More Perfect Union is timely, powerful and needed. Honoring and interpreting the law is but one aspect, but is critical to our nation’s well-being. There is life to this most innovative undertaking.”
To date, over 190 leaders from across America have signed the Declaration for A More Perfect Union to ordain and sustain the dreams, lives, and majesty embodied in the Constitution and its Preamble. The signers are a national body of diverse people in race, religion, politics, age, gender, and dreams, from 8 years old to 94 years in age. All are citizens of America.
Each is a believer in America’s future, but concerned by our nation’s unrest with a rising concern regarding love of country and each other. They have joined forces through signatures and engagement to advance “A More Perfect Union” with many working partners to become engaged in restoring renewed faith in America.
“In framing the Preamble, individually, each element represents a critical study, dialogue and action plan. Collectively, they are one for A More Perfect Union,” states Warren. “With the Preamble as the over-arching model for citizenship, civility, character, ethics and servant leadership, we the people have risen to address and to serve the best of America’s dreams.
“The US Trust pledges to advance a needed emphasis for A More Perfect Union,” adds Warren. “To this end, we shall honor our Constitution in these most important pursuits and practices to promote the general welfare and to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”
According to Warren, the fi e-year master strategy includes the engagement of signers for the forthcoming National Joint Blue-Ribbon Commission for A More Perfect Union, with seven planned Preamble working cohorts. It also includes the national general assem- bly and multiple partners engaged as a unified system to make a collective impact from across America by creating the future.
“It serves as a working model to wisely assess where America is as a nation on behalf of its citizens,” he adds, “and what the needs are for our nation to advance and unify.”
“The more we multiply, we seem to divide,” says Dr. Clifford E. Jones. “We have not come to provoke, but to fulfill We have not come to critique the past, but to create the future. We have not come to question the Constitution, but to consecrate it. This is a God-sized assignment. The time is now.”
“The US Trust has divided the Preamble into its working parts,” states Warren, “with each part consisting of a research study, a decision-making body, and an action plan to be its blueprint to ordain a better life for all.”
This year on the anniversary of the Constitution, Sept. 13-17, “A More Perfect Union Week for the General Welfare of the People” will be celebrated. Each of the fi e days is dedicated toward becoming more perfect as one nation.
The Honorable James Leach, former chair- man of the National Endowment of the Humanities states, “There is a hunger in our nation for moral guidance with principles and values which are to be sustained through tough times. There is no greater need and time for domestic tranquility to be practiced.”
“There is no time better than today to raise the bar on civility and respect in our families, communities and on our campuses,” says LTG Ron Burgess.
Rear Adm. Kent Davis, an attorney and commissioner of the Alabama Department of Veterans Affairs states, “Every person who has served in the military has taken an oath to the Constitution. To bring together our veterans, the law, and humanities, embodying character, civility and ethics, is a brilliant stroke our nation desperately needs.”
“The Constitution should not be foremost for discussion, but decision,” states Warren. “America has weathered many desperate periods in history, none more than 2020. Our
nation is filled with such accounts. Our story is told with them. Our lives are inspired by them. “Over the next fi e years there must be a greater hope and trust that the United States of America will indeed work with intent to become ‘A More Perfect Union’ for its 250th anniversary. “This ordained pursuit has been given its rightful place to be established Sept. 17, 2021 and beyond to 2026,” adds Warren. “The Preamble is our preferred focus to create the future and to build upon its key word ‘ordain.’ It does not eliminate our common sense; it
consecrates it. ‘Operation Ordain’ shall boldly be forthcoming in creating the future.”
“There is great trust in our work and in each other,” says Dr. Jones. “Even greater is our love of neighbor. We need to lay our differences aside. We all need someone to love us where we are!”
Chief Justice Parker adds, “With the United States Trust for A More Perfect Union as a working and breathing model for an increased understanding of the law, liberty, character, and freedom, we rest our case. Case affirmed ”