The Kanawha Valley Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution will be engaging with local community leaders and schools to celebrate Constitution Week, Sept. 17-23. The week will commemorate the 232nd anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. The local chapter will "Rise and Shine for America!" as they keep the Constitution of the U.S. alive.

Chapter members will begin its observation of Constitution Week with a presentation by Joe Geiger, director of the WV Archives and History, at a luncheon meeting on Saturday, Sept. 14 at Edgewood Country Club. Other activities during the week will include: Constitution Week displays and distribution of literature on the Constitution at the West Virginia State Capitol Rotunda, the lobby of the Robert C. Byrd Federal Courthouse and public libraries, schools and businesses. The Chapter will also be obtaining Constitution Week Proclamations from local city leaders and will participate in the Naturalization Ceremony at the Federal Courthouse on Monday, Sept. 16.

After the Declaration of Independence created this nation, a government had to be designed and put into place. The Articles of Confederation, created in 1777, were the first plan for the federal government. The Confederation was a group of states loosely joined together, giving only limited powers to the federal government. The Articles of Confederation were replaced by the U.S. Constitution in 1789. There were substantial differences between the Articles and the Constitution. A convention was convened in order to create a plan for the federal government that would be stronger, correcting the problems that had been found within the Articles.

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) initiated the observance in 1955, when the organization petitioned the U.S. Congress to dedicate Sept. 17-23 of each year to the commemoration of Constitution Week. Congress adopted the resolution on Aug. 2, 1956, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into Public Law No. 915.

The commemoration'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.

One of the largest patriotic women's organizations in the world, DAR has almost one million members in approximately 3,000 chapters across the United States, and several foreign countries. DAR strives to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism via commemorative events, scholarship and educational initiatives, citizenship programs, service to veterans and active military, and meaningful community service and more.

The DAR is a nonprofit, non-political volunteer women's service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history and securing America's future through better education for children. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution and is interested in learning more about the DAR, can contact Kanawha Valley DAR Chapter Regent Nancy Shifflet at dar.nancy@shifflet.us or KVDAR Membership Chair Shirley Gilkeson at SGilkeson@ol.com.

Shirley M. Gilkeson is the Public Relations Chair Kanawha Valley Chapter; Past Vice President General NSDAR; Honorary WVDAR State Regent and Honorary Regent Kanawha Valley Chapter DAR.

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