Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution present booklets containing the U.S. Constitution and other facts to Buckhannon-Upshur High School seniors. Pictured are Upshur County Interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Harrison, Interim Assistant Superintendent Melinda Stewart, DAR members Cindy Raffety, Loretta Dawson, Linda Hinter, April Wallace, Lorena Casto and Delores Wilson, and Buckhannon-Upshur High School teachers Robert Carr and Michelle Keenan.

Local Daughters of the American Revolution chapter marks Constitution Week

BUCKHANNON – Last Thursday, members of the Elizabeth Zane Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution attended the Buckhannon City Council meeting, where city recorder Randy Sanders (chairing the meeting in the absence of mayor Robbie Skinner) signed a proclamation declaring September 17-23 as Constitution Week. Sanders noted that Sept. 17, 2022, marked the 235th anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution of the United States of America by the Constitutional Convention.

“It is fitting and proper to accord official recognition to this magnificent document and its memorable anniversary,” Sanders read from the proclamation. “We ask that our citizens reaffirm the ideals of the Framers of the Constitution from 1787 by vigilantly protecting the freedoms guaranteed to us through this guardian of our liberties, remembering that lost rights may never be regained.”

On Monday, members of the Elizabeth Zane Chapter put the proclamation into action and visited Buckhannon-Upshur High School, where they spoke with seniors about the U.S. Constitution and provided them with a booklet that contained a copy of the Constitution and fascinating facts about the document.

DAR Constitution Chairwoman Cindy Raffety noted that many of the students will be voting in the upcoming General Election.

“They need to become informed and they need to realize what a privilege it is to vote,” Raffety said. “President Dwight Eisenhower created Constitution Week.”

B-UHS civics teacher Robert Carr said Monday’s presentation was a great opportunity for people in the community to share their knowledge with students.

“We just wrapped up our unit on the U.S. Constitution and studied its creation, its foundation and its principles,” Carr said. “To have people from the community come in to talk about the Constitution reinforces the importance of it and what it means for our country.”

Haley Butcher, a B-UHS senior, said she studied the Constitution in civics class.

“We learned about the Constitution, the influences from Europe and what the colonists had put into it,” Haley said. “I am looking forward to learning about how the Constitution changed over time and what we can do to make it better for our coming generations.”

Raffety said to the local DAR chapter, freedom is very important.

“In eight short months, you all will be our youngest generation of Americans, and we want you to be well informed and to love freedom like we do,” Raffety told the students. “The Constitution was adopted in 1787, and the U.S. Constitution is very unique – our Constitution limits government and defines the rights of the citizens. Unlike many other nations, the U.S. Constitution defines the rights the government has. It was made so it could be adjustable, and it has 27 amendments. The father of the Constitution was James Madison. The first 10 Amendments are the Bill of Rights, and they are so important. Now that many of you are 18, according to the 26th amendment, you can vote, and we ask you to please get registered, and most importantly, get informed on the issues, and then vote.”

Raffety spoke about the Daughters of the American Revolution.

“Everyone has traced their heritage back to a patriot,” Raffety said of the members. “Everyone is a direct descendent of someone who is involved in the Revolutionary War. We meet once a month “

The DAR was founded in 1890 as a woman’s service organization and is dedicated to promoting historic preservation and education, honoring the patriots of the American Revolution.

“In the United States, there are about 190,000 members of the DAR, and there are about 3,000 chapters,” Raffety said. “Our local chapter, the Elizabeth or Betty Zane Chapter, is named for a young heroine. She was just 16 years old and during the battle of the second siege at Fort Henry near Wheeling, and she made a run for the gunpowder in a nearby house her brother owned. Her actions saved the battle, which they won in 1782. That was brave and difficult for her to do.”

Raffety let the B-UHS seniors know there are also Sons of the American Revolution and Children of the American Revolution organizations for those interested.

Following the presentation and distribution of the U.S. Constitution booklets, Interim Assistant Superintendent of Schools Melinda Stewart thanked the Daughters of the American Revolution for their presentation.

“It is just fantastic,” Stewart said. “We want to thank them for the booklets and the information they provide. What a wonderful opportunity for our students to realize how important their role is.”

Dr. Debra Harrison, Upshur County Schools Interim Superintendent, said it is very important to her that B-UHS students understand the rights and responsibilities they have.

“If they want to have a say in government, it is their responsibility to have their say through their vote,” Harrison said. “I have a special affinity for the DAR because I received a scholarship from them when I was a B-UHS senior when I headed off for college.”

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