[r63] Remembering the Constitution every day of the year

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Friday, September 19, 2014

Remembering the Constitution every day of the year

Did you know that this year marks the 227th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution? This is the oldest and shortest written Constitution of any major government in the world, but is also one of the most important documents ever penned.  

The Constitution was written to guarantee the freedoms which American colonists fought, sacrificed and died to establish. Once America gained her independence, the Constitution was designed to deter the abuses of power that they had grown accustomed to from occurring in their new country. 

Each year during this week, proud patriots across our country celebrate Constitution Week. The tradition of Constitution Week was started in 1955 when the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) petitioned Congress to set aside the week. It was later adopted and signed into Public Law on August 2, 1956 by then President Dwight D. Eisenhower. 

Throughout this week, the Dubois County DAR have arranged to have displays set up in Jasper, Huntingburg, Dubois and Ferdinand Public Libraries to educate citizens about the Constitution.

As the descendant of ¬¬¬Captain John Waller and the son of Linda Messmer, DAR Regent for Dubois County, celebrating Constitution Week has been a way of life for me. Captain Waller was born in Virginia and enlisted in the Continental Army as a sergeant. He fought in the Battle of Brandywine and was commissioned Captain by General George Washington. Later, he founded the city of Falmouth, Kentucky. 

Through my mom’s participation in DAR, I have also been able to become a member of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR). I believe it is very important to remember our family heritage and the sacrifices that our ancestors made to ensure our freedom today. This is something I instill in my children each and every day. 

Often times I have wondered, as our founding fathers gathered to create the framework for America’s new government, did they have any idea what a lasting impact this document would have? Could they have even imagined the beacon of hope it would symbolize for people around the world? Did they know that what they were creating was unlike anything the world had ever seen before - something we would still be praising 227 years later?

Although it was written centuries ago, the groundbreaking contents of the U.S. Constitution have remained a symbol of freedom throughout times of war and peace, depression and prosperity, to mold our country into the place it is today. While on occasion it has required some amendments, at its core, the underlying principles of the U.S. Constitution transcend time. 

This year, let us all celebrate Constitution Week by resolving to be better-informed and responsible citizens of America. After all, these timeless words will eventually lose their value if we do not know what they are.