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.
In 1955, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution petitioned the U.S. Congress to dedicate Sept. 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.
NSDAR has been the foremost advocate for the awareness, promotion and celebration of Constitution Week. This annual observation provides innumerable opportunities for educational initiatives and community outreach, two mission areas of crucial importance to the national society’s work.
The local Sarah Platt Decker chapter of NSDAR has two Constitution Week displays at the Durango Public Library during the month of September, and the Constitution Week banner will fly over Main Avenue this week. There will also be displays in Bayfield and Ignacio.
By fostering knowledge of and appreciation for the Constitution and the inalienable rights it affords to all Americans, NSDAR 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.
Julie Cordova, Sarah Platt Decker chapter, NSDAR