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, according to a news release from the Daughters of the American Revolution Harmony Hall Chapter.
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 Sept. 17.
The Daughters of the American Revolution 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 on Aug. 2, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into Public Law #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 U.S. citizens’ responsibility to protect, defend and preserve the Constitution.
The Daughters of the American Revolution has been the foremost advocate for the awareness, promotion and celebration of Constitution Week. This annual observance provides innumerable opportunities for educational initiatives and community outreach, two mission areas of crucial importance to the national aociety’s work. By fostering knowledge of and appreciation for the Constitution and the inalienable rights it affords to all Americans, the Daughters of the American Revolution 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.
“The framers created a Constitution that translated into law the ideals upon which our nation was built,” Daughters of the American Revolution President General Denise Doring VanBuren said in the release. “Their vision was so forward-thinking that their words still guide us today. No American history education can be complete without a thorough understanding of the impact the Constitution has had on the lives of American citizens past and present.”
“The Constitution is a living document that assures each citizen of the freedoms Americans cherish and appreciate,” said Deanna Lutz, Regent with the Harmony Hall Chapter in Fort Washington. “It is everyone’s responsibility to keep our ancestors' legacy alive by promoting the ideals they fought valiantly to give their descendants.”