DAR promotes constitution week awareness

Published 3:00 am Thursday, September 17, 2015

Today, Sept. 17, 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,” said Claire Murphy, DAR John Coffee Chapter. “Our Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties and freedom and to ensure those inalienable rights to every American.”

Murphy said the tradition of celebrating the Constitution was started many years ago by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). In 1955, the Daughters petitioned Congress to set aside Sept.17-23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week.

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The resolution was later adopted by the United States Congress and signed into Public Law on Aug. 2, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower,” she said.

The aims of the celebration are threefold.

First, the celebration emphasizes citizens’ responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution, preserving it for posterity.

The celebration informs the people that the Constitution is the basis for America’s great heritage and the foundation of the American way of life.

“The celebration of the Constitution also encourages the study of the historical events that led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1887,” Murphy said.

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.

The landmark idea that men had the inalienable right as individuals to be free and live their lives under their own governance was the impetus of the American Revolution, Murphy said. “Today, the Constitution of the United States of America stands as an icon of freedom for people around the world.”

DAR President General Lynn Forney Young said Constitution Week is the perfect opportunity to read and study the document, which is the safeguard of American liberties.

“We encourage all citizens across the country to take time this week to reflect on our heritage of freedom and come together to celebrate America,” she said.

DAR has served America for 125 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 one of the only structures erected in tribute to the Constitution of the United States.

DAR is known as the largest women’s patriotic organization in the world. DAR has more than 180,000 members with about 3,000 chapters in all 50 states and 13 foreign countries.