More than 50 local government officials, law enforcement personnel and community members read the U.S. Constitution to commemorate the 225th anniversary of its drafting Monday at the Wise County Veterans Memorial Park in Decatur.
The second annual event, organized by members of the John B. Denton chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, included the posting of the colors by the Wise County Veterans Group, the national anthem led by Decatur Mayor Martin Woodruff, reciting of The American’s Creed and Preamble to the Constitution and singing of “God Bless America.”Readers paused at 3 p.m. to ring the bells, as was to be done at every observance across the country.
“I think it’s absolutely imperative for us to get together to remember and get the children involved,” said Bobbi Foster, one of the organizers of the event. “We lose sight of what’s important if we’re not reminded.”
Sept. 17 kicks off a weeklong celebration of the “oldest document still in active use that outlines the self-government of a people,” according to a DAR press release. In 1955, the organization petitioned Congress to set aside annually Sept. 17 to 23 as Constitution Week. The resolution was adopted Aug. 2, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
County Judge Bill McElhaney read a similar proclamation at the Wise County event.
Readers at the local observance included Tracy Smith, Wayne Harveson, Larry Ann Sazame, McElhaney, Lena Wells, Bettye Parker, Jennifer Prentice, Helen Maldonado, D.A. Sharpe, Dick Chase, Sam Starr, Billy Fowler, Jerry Hopkins, H.L. Ross and Stephanie Cooper.
Also Kerry Clower, Ann Williams, Michelle Perry, Hunter Perry, Karen Stuteville, Thomas Stuteville, Joyce Webster, Brenna Prentice, Allen Bussell, David Walker, James Stainton, Margaret Stephens, David Correll and Karen Morgan.
Terri Johnson, Woodruff, Christian Cross, Morgan Barnes, Jentry Lamirand, Virginia Perez, Mary Guillory, Staci Doss, Steel Doss, Rita Tucker, Cecily Pegues, Barbara Barclay, Tammy Hooper, Logan Moore, Rosalie Gregg and Pat Winn also read.
The latter part of the Constitution was read by Patricia Downs, Emily Talley, Jan Morrow, Cheryl Ellis, Barbara Winningham, Bob Johnson, Foster Hamblin, Karen Green, Connie Swain, Randy Singleton, Rosie Stephens, Kendall Vawter and Chrissy Karrer.
For more information on the John B. Denton Chapter of DAR, call Sally Pegues at (940) 627-5452.