U.S. Constitution awareness never more needed than now

Published 12:57 am Monday, September 10, 2007

By Staff
Sunday, Sept. 17, begins the national celebration of Constitution Week. The weeklong commemoration of America's most important document is one of our country's least known official observances.
Our Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties and freedom and to insure those inalienable rights to every American.
The tradition of celebrating the Constitution was started many years ago by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), which has the Capt. Samuel Felt Chapter active in Cass County.
In 1955, the DAR petitioned Congress to set aside Sept. 17-23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week.
The resolution was later adopted by the U.S. Congress and signed into Public Law 915 on Aug. 2, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Aims of the celebration are to: emphasize citizens' responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution, preserving it for posterity; informing the people that the Constitution is the basis for America's great heritage and the foundation of our way of life; and encouraging the study of the historical events which led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787.
The United States of America functions as a Republic under the Constitution, which is the oldest document still in active use that outlines the self-government of a people.
This landmark idea that men had the inalienable right as individuals to be free and to live their lives under their own governance was the impetus of the American Revolution.
Today, the Constitution stands as an icon of freedom for people around the world.
"Constitution Week is the perfect opportunity to read and study this great document which is th safeguard of our American liberties," states DAR President General Presley Merritt Wagoner. "We encourage all citizens across the country to take time to reflect on our heritage of freedom."
DAR has served America for 116 years as its foremost cheerleader. In 1928, the Daughters began work on a building as a memorial to the Constitution.
John Russell Pope, architect of the Jefferson Memorial, was commissioned to design the performing arts center, known as DAR Constitution Hall. Today, DAR Constitution Hall is the only structure erected in tribute to the Constitution of the United States of America.
Known as the largest women's patriotic organization in the world, DAR has more than 168,000 members with approximately 3,000 chapters in all 50 states and 11 foreign countries.
The DAR has long promoted patriotism through commemorative celebrations, memorials, scholarships and activities for children and programs for new immigrants.