Local towns sign proclamations recognizing Constitution Week

Published: 9/16/2021 4:36:34 PM

With Northampton’s Betty Allen Chapter of the national Daughters of the American Revolution organization urging Americans to reflect on the United States Constitution, several local towns have signed proclamations declaring the week of Sept. 17 to Sept. 23 as Constitution Week.

The communities that have signed proclamations include Bernardston, Greenfield, Shelburne, Deerfield and Montague in Franklin County, and Northampton and Easthampton in Hampshire County. The Betty Allen Chapter also requests that bells be rung on Sept. 17, at 4 p.m., in honor of the last signature being added to the Constitution.

“There are two documents of paramount importance to American history: the Declaration of Independence, which forged our national identity, and the United States Constitution, which set forth the framework for the federal government that functions to this day,” Daughters of the American Revolution President General Denise Doring VanBuren said in a press release. “While Independence Day is a well-recognized and beloved national holiday, fewer people know about Constitution Week, an annual commemoration of the living document that upholds and protects the freedoms central to our American way of life.”

The Daughters of the American Revolution initiated the annual week-long observance in 1955 by petitioning to Congress, according to the release. Congress adopted the resolution, and on Aug. 2, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law.

The celebration’s goals are threefold, the release states: to encourage the study of the historical events that led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787; to remind the public that the Constitution is the basis of America’s heritage and the foundation for its way of life; and to emphasize U.S. citizens’ responsibility to protect, defend and preserve the Constitution.

“In communities across America, Daughters will erect hundreds of community displays, sponsor municipal proclamations, ring bells and stage programs to raise awareness of the Constitution’s tenets and importance,” VanBuren said in the release. “We invite everyone to join us in celebrating this powerful document, which has enabled our democracy within a republic for more than two centuries. We hope that all Americans will learn more about the Constitution and its immense impact on our nation.”

The Montague Selectboard signed the proclamation during its Sept. 13 meeting before posing for a photo.

“One aspect of the DAR is our commitment to our country,” Victoria Maleno, sister of Daughters of the American Revolution member Nancy Kay Maleno, said in a statement written by Nancy to the Montague Selectboard. “We started to promote the values and freedoms that Americans have through the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.”

Deerfield Selectboard member Trevor McDaniel said signing the proclamation is a way to declare the town is committed to “moving our country forward” in the name of social justice.

“(It) affirms our commitment to uphold and work with our laws and our government,” McDaniel said at a Sept. 9 meeting. “To continue to expand the rights of minorities in this country.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com. Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.


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