LINN — Constitution Week, observed Sept. 17-23 each year, is an important celebration, according to Eva Yeager, who chairs the Jane Randolph Jefferson Chapter of Daughters of the American …
LINN — Constitution Week, observed Sept. 17-23 each year, is an important celebration, according to Eva Yeager, who chairs the Jane Randolph Jefferson Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The Jefferson Chapter was notified Saturday that it had won 2020 Chapter of the Year honors. While the chapter is based in Cole County, its members hail from several counties, including Osage.
“We were thrilled to receive such an honor but more pleased by the fact we know we were able to help many people through our efforts,” said Yeager. “Our chapter is very active in finding ways to be helpful and relevant today. We have had many projects this past year to benefit veterans and active military such as providing Veteran Homes with Christmas gifts, deployed service members with Christmas cards, coordinated a chicken dinner fundraiser with the VFW to support the Hike*Bike fundraiser that will help build a Fisher House by the VA Hospital in Columbia, clipping coupons to provide to military families, and recently, again with the help of great community members, secured a donation from Unilever provide supplies to veterans and active military. Beyond our obvious love and support of our military, we’ve provided scholarships for high school graduates, a focus on literacy assistance, sewn thousands of masks to donate to those in need during this virus, and much more.”
Regarding Constitution Week, Yeager said she is concerned that at large, youth are not well educated on the US Constitution and that as adults, time passing has faded knowledge as well.
“If we don’t know what our freedoms are, they can be taken, or freely given, away,” said Yeager. “They will be misinterpreted or exchanged for new ideas presented under the suggestion that people today are smarter than our nation’s founding fathers, who together collaborated to create this magnificent governing document.”
Freeburg Mayor Darryl Haller last week signed a proclamation declaring the village of Freeburg to be in support of Constitution Week.
Yeager said that the US Constitution is the document that saved this nation. “Under The Articles of Confederation, our young nation was struggling and heading toward failure,” she said. “The states functioned as little kingdoms instead of truly working to support each other. Though we had won our independence, it wasn’t going to last long unless something was done to truly bring unity and cooperation. Without action, all England needed to do was wait for the United States to unravel, then come back in force to try to rule this territory again.
“How can those of us who have not lived under tyranny think we know better how to preserve freedom?” Yeager continued. “How can we who have lived with plenty know the struggle of those who fought with little to gain the right to provide for oneself and one’s family? How many people truly understand what freedom is when they’ve never been deprived? These are questions that lead me to believe that celebrating our nation’s Constitution needs to be a priority each year.”
To remain a free nation, Yeager said the present citizenry must always remember not only what it took to become free, but to know what had been, why it had been failing, and what it took to not simply stabilize the country, but cause the country to thrive.
“History is never ‘passé’ but is always relevant to the sustainability of the here and now,” said Yeager. “We must know the past to understand what we are at present.. We must know where our freedoms come from, how our laws that were birthed through the framework of the US Constitution secure those freedoms, and what the checks and balances are that this document provides to ensure the ‘We the People’ and our government are equally accountable to the laws of the land. We employ our governing officials. They work for us. How can we review their work if we are ignorant of the parameters of their roles? How can we ensure our basic rights and domestic freedoms?”
The Daughters of the American Revolution was formed in 1890 and more than one million women have joined the organization since it was founded. DAR’s objectives are Historical - to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence; Educational - to carry out the injunction of Washington in his farewell address to the American people, “to promote, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge, thus developing an enlightened public opinion;” and Patriotic - to cherish, maintain, and extend the institutions of American freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty.
For more information on Daughters of the American Revolution visit https://www.dar.org.