ELIZABETHTOWN — Bells were ringing across the country on Thursday in recognition of Constitution Day, and Bladen County was no exception.
Members of the Super Clover 4-H Club and the Green Team 4-H Club, along with members of the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Battle of Elizabethtown Chapter gathered on the front lawn of the Bladen County Courthouse to ring the bell 228 times.
Judy Gooden, constitution chairman of the chapter, said the purpose of the bell-ringing and reading of the preamble of the U.S. Constitution is to recognize this nation’s forefathers.
“It is to give thanks to our forefathers who wrote the Constitution and signed it,” said Gooden.
DAR Battle of Elizabethtown Regent Linda Smith said the group does this annually to commemorate the Constitution.
As the group assembled near the bell on the courthouse lawn, Gooden said, “This is the first day of Constitution Week.” She said Constitution Week is a week-long celebration marking the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.
Susan Prevette opened the event by reading the preamble of the Constitution out loud.
Both young and old enjoyed taking their turn at ringing the bell. The members of both 4-H groups took turns ringing the bell as DAR members kept count. Each 4-Her was allowed to ring the bell a total of 20 times each until the count reached 200, then the remaining number of rings were divided between the 4-Hers and Gooden.
The tradition of celebrating the Constitution was begun when the DAR lobbied Congress in 1955 to enact a law declaring Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week. In 1956, the U.S. Congress adopted a resolution and it was signed into law officially recognizing Constitution Week, according to the National DAR website.
According to the National DAR website, the goals of Constitution Week are to highlight our responsibilities as citizens in defending and protecting the Constitution; inform people about he constitution and how it forms the basis for our way of life; and encouraging folks to study historical events.
–-Erin Smith can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.