Warsaw Shines Spotlight On The U.S. Constitution

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Have you read the United States Constitution lately? If not, eighth grade students in Warsaw and other parts of Benton County can probably summarize it for those who ask. Warsaw Mayor Eddie Simons signed a proclamation on September 4, recognizing Constitution Week, which was celebrated September 17 – 23. The local Thomas Hart Benton Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) celebrated the week by delivering student proclamations to eighth grade students in Warsaw, Cole Camp and Lincoln who pledged to read the Constitution. Teachers and parents, along with the eighth graders, signed the proclamations that read “I will Read the Constitution.”
The Thomas Hart Benton Chapter of DAR also handed out patriotic pencils to students, and put up a Constitution display at the Warsaw library.
“The national DAR initiated the observance of Constitution Week in 1955, when the organization petitioned the U.S. Congress to dedicate September 17 – 23 of each year to the commemoration of Constitution Week,” said Diane Maddix, Regent of the local Chapter of DAR. “Congress adopted the resolution, and on August 2, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into Public Law #915.”
Maddix said that the celebration’s goals are threefold: to encourage the study of the historical events that led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787; to inform people that the Constitution is the basis of America’s great heritage and the foundation of our way of life; and to emphasize U.S. citizens’ responsibility to protect, defend and preserve the Constitution. 
“We would like to encourage everyone to read and study our Constitution,” said Maddix.
The national DAR organization was founded in 1890 with the simple mission of promoting historic preservation, education and patriotism. In addition to celebrating Constitution Week, the local DAR raises funds for Honor Flight, provides goody bags, lap blankets, and cards for residents of veteran’s homes, collects items to send to troops overseas, and more. The organization sponsors essay contests at local schools and has held commemorations to honor Viet Nam veterans.
The local organization was founded in April 1978 with 13 founding members. It was named for Senator Thomas Hart Benton, the first senator from Missouri.