Celebrate Constitution Week Sept. 17-23

Published 9:57 am Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Here we are at the beginning of another rousing football season. But it’s also time to celebrate our American heritage.

Constitution Week began on September 17, nationally designated as Constitution Day, and also this year, fell on the day of the Ole Miss-Alabama football game.

Of course, folks around here are in mourning after the last-quarter loss to ‘Bama on Saturday. But we need to acknowledge that such stirring gridiron competitions, whatever the outcome, are possible due to the freedoms cited in the American Constitution.

In 1955, President Eisenhower proclaimed September 17-23 to be national Constitution Week. The occasion is to be celebrated by bell ringing at 3 pm on the 17th, and by flying American flags.

During this week of “regrouping,” let us take the time to remember and honor the Constitution, drafted and adopted by the Continental Congress on September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia.

As originally written, the Constitution did not set forth requirements for citizens’ rights. This was a major sticking point for some founding states’ representatives. The right to vote and 9 other rights were attached as the first 10 amendments to the Constitution. Those 10 amendments are known as the Bill of Rights. There are now 27 ratified amendments to the Constitution, which has been modified only 17 times since 1791.

It is the oldest yet shortest written constitution of any government in the world, consisting of four pages and 4,400 words, plus an additional 3,191 words when including the 27 amendments and signatures.

There’s a reason why it’s still here. It works. And, as proven during the Election Summer of 2016, it’s still making national best-seller lists for nonfiction.

I can think of no better way to remind ourselves about the beauty of the American Republic, in which we may express 322 million citizens’ opinions about how to move forward as a nation during ordinary times and even during election years.

Laurie Triplette, David Reese chapter,

   Mississippi State Society, Daughters of the American Revolution

Oxford