Sunday, September 16, 2007

Constitution Day

Simon mentions the Ithaca Journal bit announcing that

"The Dryden Middle School will be observing Citizenship Day on Monday, Sept. 17, with a flag raising ceremony at the school's track. The entire middle school will gathers to say the Pledge of Allegiance, sing the national anthem and see a flag raising ceremony..."

Although there's no further mention of it on the Middle School announcement page, I hope the faculty is planning meaningful observations of Constitution Day. The announcements page changes daily. So, perhaps Monday there will be more information. September 17 is the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. In 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming Citizenship Day to be a holiday celebrated on September 17. In 2004 an amendment made by Senator Byrd to a spending bill established September 17 as Constitution Day.

Despite the White House proclamation urging citizens "to conduct ceremonies..." the amendment establishing Constitution Day specifies that every school and college receiving federal money must teach about the Constitution on Sept. 17. Sounds like an enforcement nightmare but it's a good idea. The Department of Education's Constitution Day page includes links to many useful sites. Even the Department of Defense has a 20-45 minute online Constitution Course for DoD employees. Google Constitution Day and you'll find lots of good resources.

Two years ago I wrote about the C-SPAN constitution quiz. I hope they do that again tomorrow. Last year I admitted I don't understand the Pledge of Allegiance. I know that's not something you want to hear from someone who's asking for your vote. But in all honesty, I can't spell "allegiance" with real confidence. "I pledge allegiance to the flag... " ? Let's say allegiance means loyalty and skip the flag part. "I promise loyalty to the Republic..." Okay. But it's just not as clear as the oath I took to "protect and defend the Constitution." I understand that and I understand the Constitution and that's a promise I have no trouble making.


Post a Comment

<< Home