Tuesday, September 16, 2008

SEPTEMBER 17th

Did you know that September 17th is a US holiday? Don't feel bad, most don't! On September 17, 1787, all 12 state delegations approved the Constitution and 39 delegates of the 42 present signed it and the Convention formally adjourned.
The law establishing the holiday was created in 2004 with the passage of an amendment by Senator Robert Byrd to the Omnibus spending bill of 2004. Before this law was enacted, the holiday on September 17th was known as "Citizenship Day." In addition to renaming the holiday "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day," the act mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day. Just in case you might have just thought that you missed it, this holiday is not observed by granting time off work for federal employees!

In May 2005, the United States Department of Education announced the enactment of this law and that it would apply to any school receiving federal funds of any kind. Teachers and schools are free to design Constitution Day programming that best addresses the needs of their students. Federal executive employees observe the day with some sort of edifying lesson, program, or distributed materials about our Constitution.

For me, who as a commissioned officer took an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic," understanding these words was an important part of our education. Gaining understanding begins with the Preamble:

We The People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
We are fortunate that some governments offices and others have several handy links to resources that can be used to enhance learning:

Also, Constitution Day, Inc., a tax deductible, non profit, and non partisan organization maintains a website, http://www.constitutionday.com/

Happy learning, and Happy Constitution Day and Citizenship Day!

2 comments:

CitizenWill said...

I did know today was a holiday!

It would be nice if our Representative, Senate and Executive leadership would celebrate the Constitution by rolling back some of the many infringements they've enacted over the last five years.

Thanks for the reminder Citizen Fred.

Fred said...

Well, did you see or hear anything yesterday that reminded you that it was Constitution Day and Citizenship Day?