Celebrate the U.S. Constitution

The week of Sept. 17-23 will be celebrated by members of the Daughters of the American Revolution across our nation. The local chapter of the DAR, David Lindsay Chapter, is encouraging students and teachers in Shelby County to celebrate the United States Constitution.

On the evening of Sept. 11, 2002, Mayor Earl Niven of Chelsea spoke to a group at Oak Mountain during the remembrance ceremonies about his personal experiences while traveling with a group in New York City last Sept. 11th. He told the crowd that he had made the decision to change the tour schedule by leaving 30 minutes later the morning of the twin tower tragedy. The mayor believes that his decision that tragic morning was what saved his life and the lives of the members of this group. He stated to the crowd at Oak Mountain, &uot;You see, I never change my schedule; I always like to be on time and stick to my plan.&uot;

If, however, he had proceeded that morning as scheduled, his tour bus would have been in &uot;harm’s way&uot; when the towers toppled to the ground. Mr. Niven not only spoke of his embrace of God, family and our nation but he also spoke of his renewed appreciation for our forefathers and the foundation they so carefully laid in establishing a free nation.

Our United States Constitution is the fundamental document created by our founders which continues to secure those freedoms we so cherish. The ceremony at Oak Mountain began with many patriotic songs and a pledge of allegiance to our flag. It wasn’t until 1892 when a Baptist preacher, Francis Bellamy, wrote the Pledge of Allegiance that our nation began to recite this at ceremonies.

The pledge was altered during President Eisenhower’s administration, and the words &uot;under God&uot; were added. Today, the words &uot;under God&uot; have been challenged as unconstitutional. Many are aware of this recent decision and believe the words should remain as part of our official Pledge of Allegiance; however, there are those who disagree. It is a real and present issue, especially today, with such a renewed sense of patriotism in the aftermath of last September. No matter how we sometimes agree or disagree on what to say when we stand before the American flag, we still are looking to our Constitution for answers. Even as our thoughts and feelings of Sept. 11 remain, Mr. Niven reminds us that it is our foundation and our Constitution that has given us our freedom.

The week of Sept. 17-23 is Constitution Week. In our busy days and hours, perhaps like Mr. Niven, we can change our plans and schedules, if maybe by just 30 minutes, to encourage our appreciation of the Constitution