Each year during the week of Sept. 17-23 we, Americans, celebrate the United States Constitution, our most important document, a document that binds our country together.
The Constitution begins, "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 State of America."
This week we, Americans, celebrate our ancestors' wisdom in establishing three branches of government and in creating a system of checks and balances among the branches. They had just fought a Revolution to get independence from King George III of England, and they wisely chose not to have a life-time monarch or president run our country.
The first Article of the Constitution established the legislature, the Congress, that makes laws. Congress has two houses, the Senate with two Senators elected from each state and the House of Representatives, elected by the people on the basis of population. All appropriations bills must begin in the House of Representatives.
Article II of the Constitution established the executive branch, whereby a president would be elected and would sign and enforce the laws, enacted by the Congress.
Article III of the Constitution established the judiciary, creating "supreme and inferior Courts."
The celebration of Constitution Week began in 1955 when the Daughters of the American Revolution petitioned Congress to annually set aside Sept. 17-23 for commemoration of the Constitution, which was ratified in 1788. The U.S. Congress later adopted the resolution and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into public law on Aug. 2, 1956.
Members of the Fort Massac Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, that was established in Metropolis 90 years ago this year, will celebrate Constitution Week by placing commemorative posters around Metropolis. They encourage their fellow citizens to read the Constitution and to ring a bell to commemorate it and our freedoms.
Diana K. Douglas
Fort Massac Daughters of the National
Society of the American Revolution