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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Remember Constitution Week, Sept. 17-23


Above / In the familiar photo, General George Washington is depicted as a statesman at the Constitutional Convention when the Constitution of the United States was created in 1787. Remember to recognize Constitution Day on Sept. 17 with thoughts of the creation of the document that is the fundamental law of the American federal system. 

To commemorate Constitution Day, the fourth annual display organized by the Daughters of the American Revolution is now featured at Nichols Library, located at 200 W. Jefferson Ave. in downtown Naperville.

The display is complete with resource books about the Constitution of the United States available for lending. A special set of books about the Constitution is available in the Children’s Library. The exhibit will be presented through the end of September, according to organizer Bettye Wehrli, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

September 17, is the date set aside every year to celebrate Constitution Day in the United States. And according to the exhibit on the main floor, patrons can visit Nichols Library where they’ll be reminded to observe Constitution Week from Sept. 17-23.

In 1787, 39 of our nation’s founders gathered in the Pennsylvania State House to create the Constitution of the United States of America that later was ratified on June 21, 1788.

This document—carefully created 11 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed and almost six years after our fledgling nation defeated the British forces at Yorktown to win the Revolutionary War— changed the world.

For the first time in history, in what is often considered “America’s Great Experiment,” We The People ruled themselves by establishing a limited government based on law and consent of the governed. Power was with The People, not with a ruler.

Unalienable rights came from God, not from a king.


Above / A 1783 map shows the original 13 States and their land claims.  On May 29, 1790, Rhode Island became the last of the 13 original states to ratify the Constitution.

A system of checks and balances was integral to the design of the new government, to prevent any one of the three branches—legislative, executive and judicial—of government from gaining too much control.

To preserve these fragile freedoms for future generations, the founders understood that an educated electorate needed to be informed about the issues that impacted their government and their lives.

The Constitution, which includes the Bill of Rights, has guaranteed individual freedom and liberty for more than 229 years, and it has inspired freedom throughout the world.

Above / Pause and reflect about freedom at Naperville’s Cmdr. Dan Shanower September 11 Memorial.

Observing Constitution Day is one way to honor and better understand these important documents that are the foundation of our freedoms.

Freedom is fragile and must be protected every day.  As folks are reminded every day when they visit the Cmdr. Dan Shanower September 11 Memorial along the Naperville Riverwalk, “Freedom is not free.”


Above / The Freedom Shrine features a display of copies of historic documents, including the Constitution of the United States. Every day of the year, find the Freedom Shrine on the exterior wall of the Naperville Municipal Center, near the location of the September 11 Memorial.

Preamble of The Constitution of the United States

WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The first Ten Amendments to the Constitution were passed by Congress on Sept. 25, 1789, and ratified by three/fourths of the States on Dec. 15, 1791.

Those ten Articles, ie. amendments, proposed by Congress are provided for in the fifth article of the original Constitution.

To all Americans who respect the free press and personal freedom, Article I particularly resonates:

Article I / Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abriding the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Link to the Constitution of the United States / Individuals interested in reading the entire document will find it takes about one hour.

However, considering all the volumes that have been written about the fundamental law of the American federal system—many available at Naperville Public Library every day— understanding the many ways it’s been interpreted could require a lifetime.

Thanks for reading.

As a resident wrote recently, “We the people need to be sure our voices are heard. Turn your voice into a chorus.”


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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.


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