WASHINGTON, DC - On the 61st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the 215th anniversary of Delaware becoming the first state to ratify the Constitution, Senator Tom Carper issued the following statement: "The freedom our nation enjoys was first ratified with the constitution here in Delaware on December 7th, 215 years ago. But that freedom was further consecrated by those who rose up to defend their nation and freedom itself after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Our soldiers in Afghanistan are living up to the legacy of courage set by the veterans who came before them. Our prosperity exists in no small part because of the triumphs of our veterans. "When World War II veterans stood and entered the armed services six decades ago, they raised their right hand and took an oath to defend our constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. They participated in the war that brought us through the 20th century to become the great nation we are today. Sixty-one years ago today, Pearl Harbor was fought. Two hundred fifteen years ago today, the Constitution, which they took an oath to defend, was ratified by the first state in the United States of America. "215 years ago today, in a place called the Golden Fleece tavern in Dover, Delaware, about 30 delegates who had been there for 80 days decided that Delaware should be the first state to ratify the constitution and provided the foundation which has enabled our nation to survive. "We're fighting another war on terrorism today and around the world, here in this country and other places. And that constitution, which provides us with our three branches of government -- the legislative branch, of which we're one-half; the executive branch, the judicial branch -- is the most enduring of any constitution in the world and provides the foundation for the longest living democracy in the history of the world. It was first ratified today 215 years ago in Delaware. Any country that can survive two World Wars and a Civil War and Great Depression and vanquish the communists, can certainly handle the terrorists, and any issues that divide us today." Carper was the mission commander of a P-3 aircraft in Southeast Asia during Vietnam and the Cold War.