Join the celebration of Constitution Week

Published 1:23 pm Monday, September 17, 2018

By STELLA TIPTON / Guest Columnist

The celebration week of the Constitution of the United States was started by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1955. The DAR petitioned the U.S. Congress to set aside Sept. 17-23 annually to be dedicated to the observance of Constitution Week. On Aug. 2, 1956, President Eisenhower signed into law a resolution as adopted by Congress declaring Sept. 7-23 Constitution week.

As we look back, during this week, some of us may remember that on Tuesday Jan. 20, 1953, Dwight David Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States, was sworn in and delivered his first Inaugural address. Before Eisenhower began what was called, by some, an “unimaginative” inaugural committee report, he stopped to asked his audience “would you permit me the privilege of uttering a little private prayer of my own.” It was the last paragraph of that prayer that caught my imagination. President Eisenhower said

“May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concepts of our Constitution, hold to differing political faiths; so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and Thy glory. Amen.”

Constitution week is celebrated annually from Sept. 17-23. It is often said that our Constitution is an “old document.” I would think a better statement would be it is one of the most bold documents ever written. Chief Justice Warren Burger said “no other charter of government had recognized so clearly that all legitimate political power flows from the people.”

Eisenhower had it right it doesn’t take much imagination to state in prayer that the “concepts” of our Constitution are what allows us to “hold to differing political faiths” and to exercise not only our political faiths, but our religious faiths “so all may work for the good of our beloved county and Thy glory.”

It has been said by some that the document itself was a “flash of inventiveness” by its framers. When we invent, we have to imagine. Today, I can only imagine that the mindset of our founders could not be any different then as it is now, because we do use

that “old document” to defend the precept that “all legitimate political power flows from the people.” Our challenges now and in the future will always wrap themselves around our Constitution, which is there to protect our rights as citizens of this great nation.

Today, as we watch the news or search through social media, we may become overwhelmed with political parties and partisanship struggles. I applaud Gen. Eisenhower for praying that these struggles can work for the good of our country so long as we hold true to the concepts of our Constitution. As I finish examining President Eisenhower’s inaugural address, I am struck by the words of our succeeding 35th president as he began his inaugural address. President John F. Kennedy said “we observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom – symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning – signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago”.

The old document remains strong, not weak, as we celebrate Constitution Week throughout our nation.

On Sept. 9, 2018, at the American Village in Montevallo, the local chapter of the DAR celebrated David Lindsay Day. The chapter members, special guest and descendants of David Lindsay commemorated this day by dedicating a new historical marker at the grave of this revolutionary war patriot David Lindsay.

David Lindsay is buried here in Shelby County. If it were not for patriots like David Lindsay we would not be setting aside a week to celebrate our “liberties, freedoms and inalienable rights” as protected by our Constitution.


Stella Tipton is a member of the David Lindsay chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.