On September 17 we commemorate the signing of the United States Constitution. Mesquite Republican Women have teamed up with the Daughters of the American Revolution to celebrate this event. Beginning at 12:30 PM, at the Veterans’ Memorial Park a nationwide celebration called “Bells Across America” will take place. The Veteran’s of Foreign War are helping with set up, presentation of flag and leading participants in the Pledge. Mayor Litman will share a few remarks and the winner of an essay contest entitled “What the Constitution Means to Me” will be read their winning essay.

This article is to invite students to participate. The original plan was to go to the schools and have social studies/history teachers have their classes study and write about this sacred document. However, after talking with several teachers, who readily came on board, MRW was notified the schools would not be able to participate because Clark County School District would not allow a political entity to sponsor an activity that would show partiality to a specific political party. Our organization was not trying to prepare young people to be influenced by the Republican Party or its platform. We are merely trying to help students understand the importance and uniqueness of the Constitution.

J Edgar Hoover, former director of the FBI stated: …the Constitution which belongs to each of us, and which is our greatest protection, will continue to be the effective guardian of our rights only as long as each American recognizes his responsibilities and discharges them accordingly. Unless we know the Constitution… we cannot understand it. If we do not understand it, we cannot give it the support necessary to preserve it as the protector or our liberties … If we remain in ignorance of our Constitution, how can we defend it?

Our forefathers left us a free government . . . Yet it can remain so only as long as we understand it, believe it, devote ourselves to it, and, when necessary fight for it. It is up to each of us to keep the house of liberty in good repair.

Most adults do not understand the Constitution and that it is in peril. Students need to learn about its origin and what it contains. Our forefathers created a plan for a government that is so well balanced that no social or geographic group can dominate any other; a government strong enough to protect the individual rights of all its citizens and yet not invade their privacy nor infringe on their freedom.

This essay contest is designed to help young people, the future of this country, to understand just what the Constitution represents and how it impacts their lives. Hopefully students in grades 4-8 will take the initiative to enter. Again, the essay title is: “What the Constitution Means to Me”. It should be limited to 250 words or less. Please print or type (it must be legible) on 8 1/2” x 11” paper. Essays need to be turned in no later than Wednesday, September 14. They may be emailed to Mesquiterw@yahoo.com or mailed to MRW, P.O. Box 184, Mesquite, NV 89024. If you need help please call me, Sherrie Hamilton 702-630-4106. I would be happy to give suggestions, go over the Constitution with you, and pick up your completed essay. There is a $50 award for the best essay received.

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