Tomorrow, Sept. 17, begins the national celebration of Constitution Week. The weeklong commemoration of America’s most important document is one of the country’s least known official observances. Our Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties and freedom, and to ensure those inalienable rights to every American.
The Constitution of the United States was signed on Sept. 17, 1787 by 39 attendees of the Constitutional Convention. The document had been worked on for many months and the signing of the Constitution ⎯ the birth of our government ⎯ was celebrated with the ringing of bells throughout Philadelphia, as the attendees exited the meeting rooms at 4 p.m..
To commemorate the moment, Wilton’s Drum Hill Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Capt. Stephen Betts Society of the Children of the American Revolution (CAR) has asked community churches to ring their bells 39 times (one strike for each signer of the Constitution) at 4 p.m. tomorrow, Sept. 17, 2015, in celebration.
Wilton churches that are participating include Our Lady of Fatima Church; Hope Church; Sacred Heart Parish, Georgetown; and Wilton Congregational Church.
Organizers have also asked churches in surrounding communities, including Bristol, New Canaan, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield and Stamford, CT, and Plattsburgh, NY.
Wilton’s Drum Hill Chapter DAR is named after an area of land (presently in Wilton) granted in 1689 by Norwalk to Jonathan and Joseph Blackwell and William Lees. It was used for keeping their drums in good repair in order to summon residents to assemble. The Drum Hill Chapter sponsors the Captain Stephen Betts Chapter of the CAR, which holds meetings and activities throughout the year for children up to the age of 22.
The tradition of celebrating the Constitution was started many years ago by the DAR. In 1955, the Daughters petitioned Congress to set aside September 17-23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week. The resolution was later adopted by the U.S. Congress and signed into Public Law #915 on Aug. 2, 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
For more information about the local DAR chapters, visit the Drum Hill DAR website.