Obama Proclaims Constitution, Citizenship Day
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 17, 2012 President Barack Obama declared today Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, encouraging Americans to reaffirm their commitment to the rights and obligations of citizenship during a week-long observance commemorating the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution.
Congress designated Sept. 17, 1952, as the first Constitution Day and Citizenship Day in recognition of Americans who strive to uphold the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, the president noted in his proclamation.
“Today, we celebrate our heritage as a country bound together by fidelity to a set of ideas and a system of governance first laid out in America’s Constitution,” Obama wrote. That document has guided the United States in its growth “from a fragile experiment in democracy to a beacon of freedom that lights the world,” he said.
Obama encouraged federal, state and local officials and leaders of civic, social and educational organizations to commemorate Constitution Week through ceremonies and programs that bring together community members to reflect on the importance of “active citizenship” and recommit themselves to the principles the Constitution embodies.
“This week, we reflect on the basic rights and responsibilities of citizenship, the founding documents from which they were drawn and the extraordinary legacy of progress they have enabled,” he wrote. “Let us forever uphold the ideas the framers enshrined in our Constitution, and let us never cease in our pursuit of the more perfect Union they imagined so many years ago.”
The president also welcomed the newest Americans who will take their citizenship oaths today, bringing their talents and contributions to continue building the nation just as past generations have. “Our American journey and our success would never have been possible without the hope, the drive and the irrepressible optimism that every generation of immigrants have brought to our shores,” he wrote.