Daughters of the American Revolution fight to revive Constitution Week in Picayune

Published 10:44 pm Saturday, September 16, 2006

WASHINGTON, DC— Sunday, Sept. 17, 2006, begins the national celebration of Constitution Week.

The week-long 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 ensure those unalienable rights to every American.

The tradition of celebrating the Constitution was started many years ago by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). In 1955, the Daughter petitioned Congress to set aside September 17 through September 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 August 2, 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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The aims of the celebration are to emphasize citizens’ responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution and preserving it for prosperity, to inform the people that the Constitution is the basis for America’s great heritage and the foundation for our way of life and to encourage 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 lives 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 the safeguard of our American liberties,” states DAR President General, Presley Merritt Wagoner.

“We encourage all citizens across the country to take time this week to reflect on our heritage of freedom,” Wagoner said.

The Picayune chapter of DAR have requested that flags be flown on Goodyear Boulevard September 17 through September 23 in commemoration of Constitution Week.

Chief Mark Thorman and members of Picayune Memorial High School NJROTC will put up the flags as requested and as they did for the September 11 remembrance.

Mayor Greg Mitchell has also signed a proclamation recognizing Constitution Week for the city of Picayune.

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 over 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. For more information about DAR and its programs, visit www.dar.org or call 202-628-1776.