There are two documents of paramount importance to American history: The Declaration of Independence, which forged our national identity, and the United States Constitution, which set forth the framework for the federal government that is still in use today. While Independence Day is a beloved national holiday, fewer people know about Constitution Week, an annual commemoration of the living document that upholds and protects the freedoms central to our American way of life. This year, the annual celebration begins on Sept. 17.
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) initiated the observance in 1955, when the organization petitioned the U.S. Congress to dedicate September 17-23 of each year to the commemoration of Constitution Week. Congress adopted the resolution, and Aug. 2, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into Public Law No. 915. The celebration’s goals are threefold: to encourage the study of the historical events that led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787; to inform people that the Constitution is the basis of America’s great heritage and the foundation of our way of life; and to emphasize United States citizens’ responsibility to protect, defend and preserve the Constitution.
DAR has been the foremost advocate for the awareness, promotion and celebration of Constitution Week. By fostering knowledge of and appreciation for the Constitution and the inalienable rights it affords to all Americans, DAR helps to keep alive the memory of the men and women who secured our nation’s independence, whose bravery and sacrifice made possible the liberties we enjoy today.
For information on Daughters of the American Revolution Jacob Bennett Chapter call Regent Lucy Whitmarsh at 575-574-8394. Meetings are held every second Saturday of the month at the Visitors Center at 201 Hudson at 10 a.m., September through May. An exception to the usual meeting schedule is the September meeting will be Sept. 7.