Constitution Week honors the basis for our republic

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 17, 2013

From the Elizabeth Maxwell Steele Chapter of the DAR:

Mayor Paul B. Woodson, Jr. will read a proclamation at today’s City Council meeting declaring the week of September 17-23 as Constitution Week in the city of Salisbury.
Every year, the Elizabeth Maxwell Steele Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Salisbury promotes this weeklong commemoration of America’s most important document — one of our country’s least known official observances. The local DAR chapter hopes to continue the tradition of drawing attention to the observance of Constitution Week. In addition to the city’s proclamation, a display at the Rowan Public Library on Fisher Street will provide information about this document for visitors, both children and adults.

The tradition of celebrating the Constitution was started many years ago by the Daughters of the American Revolution , women who can trace their ancestry back to those who fought in the American Revolutionary War. In 1955, the Daughters petitioned Congress to set aside September 17-23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week.
The resolution was later adopted by Congress and signed into Public Law No. 915 on August 2, 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The aims of the celebration are emphasizing posterity; informing the people that the Constitution is the basis for America’s great heritage and the foundation for our way of life; and encouraging the study of the historical events that led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787.
Our Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties and freedom and ensure those inalienable rights to every American. This 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. 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.

Those who wrote the Constitution believed that no government can create freedom, but that government must guard freedom rather than encroach upon the freedoms of its people. The Constitution by itself cannot guarantee liberty. A nation’s people can remain free only by being responsible citizens who are willing to learn about the rights of each area of government and require that each is accountable for its own function. With that in mind, the writers of the U.S. Constitution proposed the creation of a supreme national government with separate legislative, executive and judicial branches
Constitution Week provides the perfect opportunity to read and study this great document, the Constitution of the United States, which is the safeguard of American liberties. The Elizabeth Maxwell Steele Chapter of the DAR encourages everyone to take time during Constitution Week to reflect on our heritage of freedom.
The late U.S. Senator Robert C. Byrd wrote, “Study the Constitution because it is both the foundation and guardian of our liberties. Study it also with the knowledge that as strong and enduring as our Constitution has been, it is nevertheless a fragile, almost intangible thing that cannot survive without the dedication and constant support of citizens.”