U.S. Constitution pic

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 freedom central to our American way of life. This year, the annual celebration begins September 17, 2018.

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) 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 August 2, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into public law. The celebration’s goals are threefold: to inform 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.

DAR 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 Society’s work. By fostering knowledge of and appreciation for the Constitution and the inalienable rights it affords to all Americans, DAR 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.

To connect with your local Pinehurst chapter of DAR, follow us on Instagram @tsa.dar!  or go online http://www.ncdar.org/AlfredMooreChapter.html

Constitution Pop Quiz – Can you answer these questions?

How often does the word “democracy” appear?

Which state is misspelled?

What foreign language is used within the document?

Which two amendments cancel each other out?

Where can you see the Constitution today?

How many states had to ratify the Constitution before it became the law of the land?

What is the only day you can see all 5 pages of the Constitution at one time?

Answers: 1) it doesn’t appear 2) Pennsylvania. They left out an “n” 3) Latin 4) 18th & 21st – Prohibition and Repeal 5) At the National Archives in DC 6) Nine 7) On Constitution Day, September 17th

(2) comments

Our Constitution is an amazing document based on our inalienable rights from God and various aspects of cultures dating back thousands of years. To stand in the room at Montpelier where James Madison studied the ancients in his search for a Constitution that would stand the test of time and attempts to bend it into something else was a thrilling experience for me. Unlike nearly all other Constitutions, its prime purpose is to claim our God-given rights and to limit our government. It is not a "working, breathing document" but the bedrock of our nation and American Exceptionalism.

Jim Tomashoff

I don't know if it is possible to be more wrong about one thing than you are about the Constitution you describe in your post. Nearly all the drafters of the Constitution were "Children of the Enlightenment." They believed in reason more than faith. There is no mention of the word "God" in the Constitution. And that is quite intentional. Few of the drafters would have agreed with your assertion that, "...our inalienable rights [came] from God." Read this: www.iep.utm.edu/amer-enl and excellent summary of American Enlightenment thinking. And/or read "The Godless Constitution." I would argue that the Constitution is a "living" document. The drafters were wise enough to know that attitudes and beliefs about government change over time, after all, they had just recently rebelled against the British Government model. Moreover they had the recent example of the Articles of Confederation being an abject failure as a cautionary example. The Preamble says the objective is to make a "more perfect union," not establish once and for all THE perfect union. They knew that future generations were going to want to take a crack at making the union more perfect still. For truly major changes they put the Amendment Process in place, but deliberately made the process exceedingly difficult as a protection against a rash but transient movements and ideas. For lesser changes and to deal with new circumstances that would invariably come about they allowed for Congress and the Courts to act as necessary. And while not explicit in the text, their further writings and actions clearly anticipated a role for Federal Courts to review Congressional acts lest they be "unconstitutional." See Marbury v. Madison, and note that there was relatively little outrage from the drafters, many of whom were still alive when this decision was handed down in 1803 regarding this role for the Courts that this case cemented as a fact. You would also profit from reading Madison's notes on the convention, or any number of books on the history and evolution of the Constitution, from both liberal/moderate scholars and conservative scholars; or take an on-line college level course. You'll learn a lot. You may even learn that throughout our history the majority of constitutional historians would argue the the Constitution is, and was intended to be, "a working, breathing document." And, moreover, it was a working, breathing document whenever Scalia, for one, wanted it to be. Finally, Madison's intellectual sources on the role and duty of government came much less from "the ancients" than from many of the key enlightenment scholars and philosophers of their time, e.g. Rousseau, Locke, Voltaire, Montesquieu, among many others. All of whom were known and read widely by the drafters. Indeed, a common theme among them was that political legitimacy came from the application reason and science to the art of government and most definitely not from God. They all rejected the "Divine Right of Kings."

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