Cody Mayor Matt Hall has declared Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week, describing the Constitution of the United States of America as “the guardian of our liberties.”
“It embodies the principles of limited government in a republic dedicated to rule by law,” Hall said as he read the proclamation at the Sept. 6 city council meeting.
This year marks the 235th anniversary of the framing of the Constitution by the Constitutional Convention.
There is a law known as public law 915 thatguarantees the issuing of a proclamation each year by the President of the United States designating Constitution Week.
According to the Daughters of the American Revolution organization, Constitution Week is celebrated each year in order to “commemorate [the Constitution’s] history, importance and bring attention to how it still serves us today.”
“It is fitting and proper to accord official recognition to this magnificent document and its memorable anniversary and to the patriotic celebrations which will commemorate it,” Hall said in the proclamation.
According to the U.S. National Archives, America’s first constitution was the Articles of Confederation, which allowed the Confederation Congress to make rules, but gave them no enforcement powers.
In the years that followed the Revolutionary War, when America gained independence from Britain, there were disputes among the states over territory, war pensions, taxation and trade.
“It threatened to tear the country apart,” the National Archives stated.
So, in May of 1787, the Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia. At first, their goal was to revise the Articles of Confederation, but they eventually decided to redesign the government.
On Sept. 17, 1787, the delegates signed the U.S. Constitution, creating the government structure that continues to this day.
The first three articles of the Constitution established the three branches of government and their powers — the legislative, executive and judicial branches.
The Bill of Rights was ratified on Dec. 15, 1791, which enshrined them in the U.S. Constitution.
“It spells out Americans’ rights in relation to their government,” the National Archives said. “It guarantees civil rights and liberties to the individual.”
The Bill of Rights sets forth the freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of religion. It protected the right to keep and bear arms, and it protected citizens from unreasonable search and seizure by the government. There are protections for those accused of crimes, and it stated that people have other rights, even if not spelled out in the Bill of Rights. Finally, it gave powers not designated to the federal government to the states or to the people.
So, in celebration of Constitution Week, mayor Hall hopes citizens will remember all that the U.S. Constitution has set forth.
“I ask our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the framers of the Constitution had in 1787,” Hall added, “by vigilantly protecting the freedoms guaranteed to us through this guardian of our lives.”
For more information about Constitution Week, visit www.dar.org/national-society/education/constitution-week.