Editor's note -- This opinion has been updated to correct the time of the event, which begins at noon Sept. 17.
Everyone is invited to the Capitol rotunda Friday, Sept. 17, at noon for a Constitution Day ceremony featuring Lt. Governor Kristen Juras, Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen, Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen, and Dept. of Justice Solicitor General David Dewhirst, all speaking about the meaning and defense of the U.S. Constitution, and presenting a Governor’s Proclamation.
Music will be provided by Kaylee Rose Lian, Clancy Elementary School sixth grade student, singing “The National Anthem” and “This Land is Your Land” and by Helena Xpress Singers, singing “This is My Country” in four-part a cappella harmony directed by Barb Leland.
Sponsored by Daughters of the American Revolution Oro Fino chapter, members Shirley Herrin and Fee Lamping will post the colors with Sons of the American Revolution state President Don Reed and Vice President Steve Armstrong. Chapter Chaplain Gilda Clancy will give the Invocation and lead the Pledge of Allegiance; chapter Secretary Patty Donoho will ring the Montana Statehood Centennial Bell as part of Bells Across America on the 17th; Jane Lee Hamman will serve as emcee; and cookies will be provided by Deborah Swingley, Mrs. Clancy and Mrs. Lamping. DAR State Regent Leigh Haislip Spencer, of Great Falls, will bring greetings.
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Those unable to attend the event may search for multiple full-coverage broadcasts on Helena Civic TV cable channel 189 and live streamed at HelenaCivicTV.org, with On Demand available for viewing, thanks to Videographer Jeanie Warden.
Constitution Week, first proclaimed in law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is September 17-23. This year is the 234th Anniversary of signing America's most important document—words we live by. The 1787 Constitution Preamble set the nation on its course: We the People…in Order to form a more perfect Union…secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” While richly blessed, Americans also have made enormous personal and national sacrifices to preserve freedoms, advance towards “a more perfect union,” and help people around the world.
Jane Lee Hamman is Constitution Week Chair of the Oro Fino Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution.