WEST CHESTER, PA — On September 17, 1787, 39 delegates gathered together to sign the United States Constitution. Exactly 232 years later, students from various Chester County schools gathered on the steps of the historic West Chester Courthouse to sign it again at the Chester County Constitution Day Celebration and Kids Voting Kickoff Ceremony.
In recent years, there has been an effort to increase awareness of the importance of the signing of the Constitution in our nation’s history, as well as the importance that voting has on our country. To support this effort, Rebecca Brain, public information officer at the Chester County Commissioners’ Office, collaborated with the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) to host the event. Students from Coatesville Area Senior High School, Oxford Area High School, the Henderson High School Chamber Choir, Technical College High School ambassadors, community members and local and state legislators gathered to celebrate Constitution Day and discuss what it means to be a citizen.
Attendees celebrated citizenship for all individuals born in the United States, as well as those who came to the United States through the naturalization process. The topic of how to be an active citizen was evident throughout the day. Mason Clark from Oxford Area High School noted, “We are here to celebrate many aspects of our great nation including our Constitution, American citizenship and the right to vote. The Constitution is the document forged by our national ancestors, which through the years has kept our country free and prosperous. I believe that the Constitution is the document that most defines us as Americans. When I think of what it means to be a citizen of this great nation, I immediately think of all of our rights and freedoms. The most important of these to me is the right to vote.”
The day kicked off with a welcome from Dr. George Fiore, CCIU executive director; a presentation of the colors from the PA-771 Air Force JROTC from Coatesville Area Senior High School; and, a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by the Henderson High School Chamber Choir. Senator Andy Dinniman then led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance, and students from various elementary schools recited the Preamble of the Constitution and presented their wishes for our country. Next, Chester County Commissioners Kathi Cozzone, Michelle Kichline and Terence Farrell spoke about how to be an active citizen and the value that voting has on the outcome of an election. Founding Father Benjamin Franklin then shared the history of our Constitution and led the mock voter registration. The event concluded with a rendition of “America the Beautiful” by Miranda Nilan from Oxford Area High School.
Chester County Constitution Day was coordinated by the Chester County Intermediate Unit.
Source: Chester County Intermediate Unit, 455 Boot Road Downingtown, PA 19335