Local group plans to celebrate Constitution

Published 12:06 pm Monday, September 14, 2015

Constitution Week kicks off Thursday Sept. 17 with Constitution Day and goes through Wednesday Sept. 23 in commemoration of the signing on the United States Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.

“The purpose of Constitution Week is to make American citizen aware of the importance of our Constitution and the sacrifices of those who have fought to uphold its principles,” said Carmine Bell, member of the Ashmead Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.

Locally, the Ashmead Chapter, DAR is honoring Constitution Day in conjunction with the Sara Randolph Boone Society, Children of the American Revolution.

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They will celebrate Constitution Day with a bell ringing at 4 pm. Thursday Sept. 17 on the steps of the Old Court House, 1008 Cherry St. People in attendance will ring their own handheld bells in addition to the ringing of the Old Court House bell. Members of DAR are also asking downtown churches to ring their bells at the same time.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. has been invited to make a proclamation regarding Constitution Week, and Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney will make a speech on the Constitution at the event.

“We will of course say the pledge of allegiance, sing the national anthem and it’s really more to bring attention to Constitution Week,” said Janis Koestler, life member of CAR.

Bell said they will also recite the American’s Creed and the CAR Creed.

The program will be aided by Dr. Joseph Warren Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution and the Warren County Girl and Boy Scout Troops who present the flag.

The Constitution is significant to Koestler because she sees it as the nation’s foundation, which she said a portion of the public is unaware of its meaning.

“We wouldn’t have a country if we didn’t have the Constitution to define it,” Koestler said. “It symbolizes the freedom we acquired with the war with Great Britain, but sadly, a lot of people don’t know what the Constitution says and so they don’t seem to understand the importance of it sometimes.”

DAR is a national organization, which has celebrated Constitution Week annually since the mid-1950s. Members of the local DAR and CAR chapters established the bell ringing ceremony in the 1970s at St. Albans Episcopal Church. In the 1990s, the celebration moved to the Old Court House, in part, because of the efforts of Ashmead Chapter, DAR member Martha Leese and her husband Grady who worked to renovate the bell tower at the museum.

“I look forward to it,” Koestler said. “It heralds fall for me and the start of the school year.”

For more information on the event or joining one of these organizations, contact Roeland or Carmine Bell at 501-538-3285.