Sept. 17, 2021, 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. Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by 39 brave men on Sept. 17, 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 live 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. 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!
The tradition of celebrating the Constitution was started by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) when in 1955, the Daughters petitioned Congress to set aside Sept. 17-23 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 Aug. 2, 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The week long goals are to (1) emphasize citizens’ responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution, preserving it for posterity; (2) inform the people that the Constitution is the basis for America’s great heritage and the foundation for our way of life; and (3) encourage the study of the historical events which led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787.
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 of America.
Known as the largest women’s patriotic organization in the world, DAR has over 180,000 members with approximately 3,000 chapters in all 50 states and 13 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 local Pemaquid Chapter Regent, Audrey Miller, 207-633-7089. The Pemaquid Chapter meets monthly from April to December.