Bell-ringing ceremony celebrates Constitution Week
Bells will be ringing in Madras Friday afternoon in celebration of Constitution Week, Sept. 17-23.
Members of the Bend Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter are hosting the bell-ringing ceremony as part of the week-long celebration.
"This is something we try and do for the community to recognize that we have a U.S. Constitution, and it's something that people should be willing to follow," said DAR Constitution Week committee member Dorothy Burgess, of Madras. "It's the law of the land."
Community members are invited to join Burgess and her DAR sisters at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17 at the Jefferson County Library District flagpole on Southeast Seventh Street in Madras.
Burgess will have handheld jingle bells available for attendees to borrow, but she invites people to bring their own bells â€“ even cow bells are welcome. She will read a Constitution Week proclamation and then lead the group in ringing bells for two or three minutes.
The bell-ringing event is a way to acknowledge the U.S. Constitution and symbolizes the ringing of the Liberty Bell. DAR members have led the ceremony all over the country and in foreign countries where they have chapters. It has not been held locally for a few years, but Burgess is glad to be bringing it back to Jefferson County.
"We celebrate with the bell ringing because it's something that we can do," Burgess said.
Also during Constitution Week, the Jefferson County Library will display books on the Revolutionary War and some Daughters of the American Revolution facts. The small display will be on the orange slat wall in the Madras library.
Burgess will represent the organization during the Tuesday, Sept. 14 Madras City Council meeting to receive a proclamation from the mayor establishing Constitution Week. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at Madras City Hall Council Chambers and will be offered via Zoom and teleconference.
The Bend DAR Chapter has also asked other city councils in Central Oregon to issue a Constitution Week proclamation.
"It's something we've done several years," Burgess said of the proclamation.
She has been a member of the patriotic DAR organization since 1995. She first joined the Bend chapter, and then in 2010, there were enough Jefferson County members to form a Madras chapter. The local chapter dissolved a few years ago and rejoined the Bend chapter.
Sept. 17, 2021, marks the 234th anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution of the United States of America by the Constitutional Convention.
DAR members started the celebration of the U.S. Constitution and in 1955 petitioned Congress to set aside Sept. 17-23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week. The resolution was later adopted by the U.S. Congress and signed into public law on Aug. 2, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17
Jefferson County Library flagpole, 241 SE Seventh St., Madras
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