DAR members ready to ring bells for freedom

Several years ago, these students rang their bells to celebrate America’s freedom when they gathered for the William Cocke Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution’s annual Bell Ringing Ceremony. From left are Easton Ball, Brazen Stewart, Lee Benton, Kylie Forbes, and Olivia Fillers.

It’s almost time to ring the bells.

On Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, members of William Cocke Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution will host their annual Bell Ringing Ceremony on the Cocke County Courthouse Lawn in celebration of Constitution Week.

Sunday’s celebration starts at 2:00 p.m. and will feature students from various county schools participating in patriotic activities. Rep. Jeremy Faison will be keynote speaker.

Everyone is invited to bring a bell to ring to pay tribute to America’s most important document, the Constitution.

Constitution Week actually kicks off Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019.

While Independence Day, July 4, is a beloved national holiday, fewer people seem to know about Constitution Week, which commemorates what has been called a “living document” that upholds and protects the freedoms central to our American way of life.

In 1955, members of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) petitioned Congress to dedicate the week of Sept. 17-23 each year as Constitution Week. On Aug. 2, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into Public Law #915.

There are three goals to the celebration: to encourage the study of the historical events that led to the framing of the Constitution in September of 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.

For several years now, members of the local DAR chapter, named for Sen. William Cocke, who would have been very aware of the framing and adoption of the Constitution in 1787, have diligently promoted the celebration of Constitution Week.

I’m extremely proud of our DAR members for their inclusion of students from area schools in their annual Bell Ringing Ceremony. It’s one thing to study about the Constitution in a classroom, but it’s another to actively participate in such a celebration. I wish I had been allowed to ring a bell as loud as I wanted back in the early 1960s when I was a student at Newport Grammar School. I’m sure the students who participate in the local celebration will remember their participation in this event long after their textbooks have crumbled to dust.

Why not join the group this Sunday at the courthouse for the 2019 celebration?

In case of inclement weather, the event will be moved to Newport City Hall.

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