Toni Bolling Lutter
Gila Butte Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and Arizona State Society Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) joined forces at Sun Lakes’ Renaissance retirement community to celebrate “Bells Across America” on Constitution Day, September 17. Wearing authentic replicas of Revolutionary War uniforms, Arizona’s State SAR Color Guard invigorated the patriotic exercises and readings.
During the celebration, the gathering recited together the Preamble to the Constitution, and Arizona Governor Douglas A. Ducey’s original Constitution Week Proclamation was read and then placed on display. In part, the Proclamation asked “our citizens to reaffirm the ideals of the visionary Framers of the Constitution by vigilantly protecting the freedoms and liberties guaranteed to us by the Constitution, always remembering that lost rights may never be regained.”
In the Colonial era, bells were the primary method of gathering the populace. In times of danger or in announcing important news, the bells from churches and public buildings rang from town to town, heralding both good news and bad. When Philadelphia was the nation’s capital, the Liberty Bell called the state legislature into session, summoned voters to submit their ballots, heralded Fourth of July celebrations and even Washington’s birthday. Renaissance residents brought their own bells for “Bells Across America” or used DAR’s bells as they continued the tradition.
The annual celebration of the Constitution was initiated by the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1955, DAR petitioned Congress to set aside September 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.
Sons of the American Revolution is the leading male lineage society that perpetuates the ideals of the War for Independence. As a historical, educational and patriotic non-profit corporation, they seek to maintain and expand the meaning of patriotism, respect for our national symbols, the value of American citizenship, and the unifying force of e pluribus unum, created from the people of many nations. Each member traces his bloodline to an ancestor who supported the cause of American Independence during the years 1774-1783. Prospective members should call 602-230-7518 or email [email protected]
Gila Butte DAR meets in Sun Lakes and welcomes membership inquiries. Interested women over 18 who can prove blood lineage to a patriot of the American Revolution are urged to call 602-430-6048 or go to the chapter website gilabutte.arizonadar.org.