June 26, 2008

Natural Disaster Drives Local Family to Riverside Communities

by Toby Champion

Well, Id just finished a chunk of work for a client and needed a break, and to be honest, it all sounded pretty exciting and might just be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a real-life natural disaster in action. So I suggested we throw some stuff into our campervan and drive down the next day. Michelle was up for it, and the plan immediately evolved into an attempt, however small, to help folks out down there with sandbagging or whatever they needed. So later that afternoon I collected a bright-red, fiberglass shovel the Memphis Democrat bought for the trip, and grabbed some gardening gloves and boots to throw in with our usual trip kit.

When we arrived in Hannibal, we learnt from the Hannibal Courier-Post that work on reinforcing the levee had pretty much finished, and that our help was more likely to be appreciated in either of the much smaller towns of Canton, 12 miles north of Quincy - with an aging levee many doubted would hold - and Clarksville, 25 miles south of Hannibal, with only the makeshift levee being built right now. We were tired though, so decided to spend the night in Hannibal for now.

We walked down to the riverside to see how high the river was. There were signs all along, hanging from orange and white tape, demanding we STAY OFF LEVEE, but we thought that just meant stay off the very top, so we pushed the stroller up and peered over the side anyway. Wow. The other side of the river certainly seemed a long way away. Pretty much everything on the other side of the levee was underwater, including most of the Welcome to Hannibal sign. Dramatic, exciting, awe-inspiring, curious and downright depressing all at once.

Pretty soon a cop on a mountain bike approached us and told us we werent supposed to be there, in a firm-but-fair sort of a way. Oops. Down we came, feeling lucky that we were neither ticketed nor arrested. We couldnt figure out what the big deal was about staying away, and were only to discover just why towns are policing their levees so heavily on the last day of our trip.

Michelle took our eight-month-old son Adam back to the motel to get him to sleep, and I continued wandering. It turned out the best place to be in Hannibal to see things close up was on the road-bridge that takes route 79 over Bear Creek to the south of the town. From the top of the bridge I could see the sort of thing you always see on TV during floods: the tops of road-signs and roofs above the water. Eerie, but also, it being just after sunset and with a whopping-great moon appearing above the trees on the south side of town, quite beautiful. When a launch carrying a couple of National Guard guys motored quietly around the walls of the very-much-underwater Clemens Field ballpark, its searchlight bouncing cleanly off the mucky, murky water, it all looked very pretty indeed. It got me thinking about how theres beauty to be found in a lot of otherwise nasty situations. And this is nasty: as I write, 24 people have died in the floods.

On the bridge I met Carol, whod worked the flood with the Salvation Army back in 1993. Despite the levee protecting most of the town that year, it was still a lot of work, handing out mops, disinfectant and food to those whose homes had flooded. She seemed exhausted even by the memory of it all.

Seeing road signs underwater is always an odd sight. Even odder, though, was how Michelle and I both kept noticing road and other signs looking strange throughout our brief trip.

The next morning, after breakfast at the Mark Twain Dinette, we packed up and made a break for Clarksville the long way round, as route 79 was underwater just past the Mark Twain Caves. On the way, discovering that the Champ Clark Bridge taking the 54 across just north of the town was closed, we headed into Louisiana to find out why. We parked just this side of the bridge, and I walked onto the bridge to take a look. I ended up walking the 300-yard round-trip to the other side, and it was a pretty intense experience. Id not walked over the Mississippi before, and to do it when it was this wide, this quiet, and this threatening, was something special. The only company I had on the bridge was a biker who passed me there and back. The bridge, Ive since learnt, has become quite the tourist attraction. Im glad others will be able to have this unusual experience.

Once back on the east side, we drove downtown. This was where it starts getting real. The stuff you normally only see on TV, right in front of you. 3rd Streetthe 79was flooded as far as we could see. A trailer just up from the water, piled with a familys possessions, a king-size mattress plonked on top. Family and friends completing a wall covered in black plastic sheeting round the front of their house: those that arent standing in a green Jon boat are wearing waders. A guy in a pale-blue pick-up with mud stuck on the bottom is handing out white aluminum cans of drinking water to their tired-looking neighbours. And another bunch of family and friends are building a wall around their house, which looks like its on its very own island. To add the feeling that things are a bit rushed, theres a four-foot pile of sand ready to go in bags... the pile is in a foot of water.

When youre watching this kind of stuff on TV, sometimes you wonder how you can help. Maybe make a call, send some money. When I was down there though, I felt like a useless idiot. I wanted to offer to help, but the embarrassing truth is that I did my back in on Monday mowing the yard. I could barely lift my 13-pound baby, let alone a 75-pound sandbag. Michelle was going to have to do the actual helping, and she was hanging out with Adam back on Main Street. Rigid with worries that someone was going to ask me who I was and what I was doing here, I sloped off, past the first of many pipes I saw chucking flood-water out of basements. The arc was about eight-foot long.

At the front of a red-brick building that used to be Louisiana Plastic Inc. Warehouse No. 1, with cute fake windows painted on the sides, there was the whole flood-defence set-up: three feet of sandbags with white 4mm plastic sheet thrown over; two or three bags on top of that; a step-ladder over the whole thing; and a couple of green plastic pipes taking water pumped out. And a mug of coffee sat on top.

By this time I was glad our next and final stop would be somewhere where we knew we could actually help. Just before we left we met Kirsty, a nurse whose daily commute is south along the 79. Were just idiot flood tourists, I explained. Oh, me too. But Im going down to Clarksville next to help with sandbagging. Ooh, so are we! I explained, relieved that she could relate to my feeling a bit silly and excited that suddenly, we were all in it together, teaming up and helping out.

Back in the van, we took the 54 back to Bowling Green, the 61, then WW and W winding through Pike County into picturesque Clarksville.

No chance of being an idiot flood tourist here. Flashing red and blue lights everywhere. A cop stopped us at a roadblock. You here to help? he asked, and suggested we park up the road and wait for a shuttle bus to take us into town. Declining the bus, we walked the few blocks instead, Michelle carrying Adam and me pushing the stroller with the shovel wedged behind our daypack. We were guided by a local through alleys, and the intensity racked up as we approached downtown. National Guard trucks passed loaded with sand, one with I love the army! chalked on the drivers door. Pick-ups carrying filled sandbags and equipment edged by as we detoured onto muddy lawns, our borrowed off-road stroller proving its worth.

Once we hit Howard Street we realized this artists town of 490 residents had become the centre of attention for hundreds of volunteers, scores of National Guard personnel, and the national media. Four satellite trucks, TV cables everywhere, and the roar of three enormous pumps helping prevent the storm drain system from backing up behind the levee. We navigated the stroller through a group of twenty or so young people wearing white tees and yellow headbands, hard at work sandbagging; I later learnt they were inmates brought in to help. We signed in with the AmeriCorps team at City Hall, signed waivers, and tied orange plastic tape around our wrists. Collected some bottles of water, bought some snacks, and headed the long way round to Main Cross Street, where we were to help protect the lumberyard.

Shielded from the river on the east by a makeshift levee eight-feet high, with the water already a few feet up, around twenty folk were hard at work filling and placing bags. When we arrived, they were racking their brains for an Irish drinking song to sing. The only one I know escaped my mind in the heat of the moment, so my first real opportunity to help was dashed already. This lot had clearly been at it for hours, and had formed quite the team. Four bag-filling stations formed a square around a pile of sand, each consisting of a couple 2x4s resting on a pair of sawhorses supporting two upside-down traffic cones with their tops sawed off, acting as funnels into which people shoveled sand into bags held up by a colleague on the far side.

I handed Adam to one of the volunteers, and Michelle got on with some sandbag-holding while I joined Bob Reid on a nearby seat. He clearly deserved the break. Bob helps run the Clarksville Museum, and had been working the last five days to get all of our treasures up above the 93 level. We got five feet of concrete blocks, made a frame from 2x4s on top of them, then turned our display cases sideways and put them on top of that frame. In our office, theres a stairway to a little storage room, over the entryway. You cant walk in their sideways: weve just got it stacked clean to the ceiling... So I have a feeling that everything will Im gonna think positive. Im optimistic that everything will be alright.

Bob boasted that the plantings round the outside of the museum had been planned with the flood in mind: arborist Monica Barker chose species that would survive a flood. Yellowtwig dogwood, stuff like that. So she thought ahead of time. Those plants can resist being drowned for a while.

Charlie Meyers, an employee at the lumberyard and long-time Clarksville resident, explained that quite a few of the helpers were builders who needed the yard to stay in business. The group, I was surprised to learn, had no one in charge, and had previously been helped by some Amish, a Boy Scout group, prisoners, the National Guard and a couple of folks from St. Louis.

So, we did end up helping for an hour or so. Michelle held sandbags, and I even managed to get some action out of that shovel, as you can see in the photo. People seemed to really enjoy Adams presence, which is always nice to see.

When wed had enough, we walked back to the van along the roads wherever possible. We noticed more signs, including one under a foot of water that read ROAD CLOSED 1 MILE AHEAD. The drive on the W back to the 61 was pretty hairy. We were passed by a lot of big trucks carrying sand, and none of them were holding back.

We spent another couple of nights in Hannibalwhere the water had gone down a foot since we were first there, because of breaches upstreamand I watched Worlds Most Amazing Videos and rested my back.

On Friday, with me finally off the Tylenol, we left for home, stopping at Quincy and Canton on the way. The Memorial Bridge is closed as the west end is underwater, and the riverfront park on the Quincy side is under too. I mooched down to the riverfront. I met a tall, black pony-tailed guy with a camera round his neck hanging around a couple of boats getting ready to leave. I asked if he knew where the boats were going. Well, I dont know about that one, but this one is taking me to see my house and farmland, which is all underwater. I gulped. Im sorry. I offered. I appreciate that. Hope it works out in the end, I said. Yeh, in the end, itll be okay. We let him get on with his life and got back on the road.

Our final visit was with Canton, which over the previous week had National Guard and volunteers reinforcing its aging levee. We only spent five minutes or so there, and were struck that the town seemed deserted and that the town is very, very flat indeed. We tried to take a shortcut back onto the 61, but had to stop as the road goes through a break in the levee, and was closed by a wall of sandbags, staffed by a couple of National Guard guys.

That trailer home over there, the owners just upped and left, drove it out with their truck, at three in the morning. And the guards could explain why the levees are being so heavily policed: Some guy in Quincy in 1993 had had this big row with his girlfriend, and didnt want her to come home, so he got up onto a levee and started pulling bags out of it. It gave way in the end, and a lot got flooded. Hes still in jail. That was James Scott, who was convicted of intentionally causing a catastrophe.

As we headed northwest towards Memphis on the 61, we thought wed seen the last of the Mississippi for a while, but several miles on, we were driving with the river right next to us, above us, a mile or two from where it normally runs.

So the Memphis Democrat shovel is still in Clarksville, hopefully no longer necessary, but in a good home nevertheless. Maybe sometime, once things have dried up well pay the place another visit, see the work of some of those artists and figure out where on earth the river was supposed to be that day.

Toby Champion, originally from London, England, relocated to Scotland County a year ago. He, his wife Michelle Day, and their son Adam now call Memphis home.

Lady Tigers Drop Two of Three at Schuyler Tourney

 

Maddie Brassfield slides into second base.

Maddie Brassfield slides into second base.

After dropping two of three games at the Schuyler County Tournament on Saturday, the Scotland County softball program returned from Lancaster under the .500 mark on the season with a 7-8 record.

SCR-I got off to a  horrible start Saturday morning. After leaving the bases loaded in the top of the first, Knox County jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the frame, taking advantage of a pair of SCR-I errors as well as a home run.

Chelsea Wood singled and Stevi See walked with two outs in the third inning before Ashleigh Creek cracked a triple to trim the deficit to 5-2.

Another two-out rally in the sixth inning made the final score 5-3. Kaylyn Anders singled and scored when Abby Blessing reached on an error.

Creek pitched six innings, allowing just one earned run on seven hits and a walk while striking out five.

Wood went 2-3 with a walk and a run scored. Creek was 1-2 with two RBIs.

In game two, freshman Kaitlin McMinn got her first varsity pitching victory as SCR-I rallied for a 9-5 win over Brashear.

SCR-I fell behind 4-0 before Wood and See singled in the third and scored on a two-run hit by Creek.

The fifth inning put SCR-I over the top as Abi Feeney reached on an error and scored on a double by Wood. Creek added an RBI triple before Maddie Brassfield was hit by a pitch and scored on a base hit by Abby Blessing to make the score 6-5.

Creek took over in relief and notched the save with two scoreless innings of work.

Abby Blessing fires in a throw from center field.

Abby Blessing fires in a throw from center field.

SCR-I tacked on three more runs in sixth. Wood and See singled in front of a three-run homer by Creek to make the final score 9-5.

McMinn allowed two earned runs in four innings of work on four hits and three walks.

Creek struck out four in two innings of relief. She was 3-4 at the plate with six RBI and finished a single short of the cycle after hitting a double, triple and homer.

Wood was 3-4 and See went 2-4 as SCR-I finished with 10 hits after a slow start.

The consolation game slipped away from Scotland County as the host team broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning en route to the 5-4 win.

Schuyler County took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on an SCR-I error.

Abi Feeney singled and came in to score when Wood reached on an error to trim the deficit to 2-1.

Creek singled in the fourth inning and courtesy runner Hailey Darcy stole second base and came in to score when Anders reached on an error.

In the sixth, Creek smacked her second homer of the day to trim the lead to 5-3.

Katie Feeney squeezes a throw at first base on the bunt attempt.

Katie Feeney squeezes a throw at first base on the bunt attempt.

Julie Long reached on an error to start the seventh and pinch runner Khloe Hamlin stole second before scoring when Abi Feeney reached on an error. Wood doubled but SCR-I stranded the winning run at second base as the Rams held on for the 5-3 win.

Creek took the loss, despite not allowing an earned run. She held Schuyler County to five hits and three walks while striking out seven.

Lady Tigers Knock Off Novinger 15-1

abi-novinger

After a slow start Monday night, the Scotland County softball team came on strong late to close out Novinger 15-1 in five innings of play in Memphis.

Abi Feeney was hit by a pitch to lead off the game and stole second base. She scored on an RBI single to give SCR-I a 1-0 lead.

Stevi See reached on an error and scored on an RBI ground out by Creek in the third to extend the lead to 2-0.

Novinger trimmed the deficit to 2-1 in the top of the fourth inning when a walk  led to a run on a wild pitch.

But SCR-I closed the door on any rally with a huge fourth inning that saw the Lady Tigers send 17 batters to the plate en route to scoring 13 runs.

Abby Blessing and Katie Feeney had RBI singles to start the rally before Abi Feeney delivered an RBI triple. Chelsea Wood followed with a double  before Creek drove in another run with a two-bagger. See also contributed an RBI single during the onslaught.

Creek finished off the five-inning no-hitter with a one-two-three inning to record the victory. The junior allowed one run on no hits and three walks while striking out 11.

SCR-I improved to 8-8 on the season with the win.

Rams Outlast Lady Tigers 2-1 In Defensive Battle

Shortstop Abi Feeney makes a throw to first from her knees after one of her several nice defensive plays at Lancaster.

Shortstop Abi Feeney makes a throw to first from her knees after one of her several nice defensive plays at Lancaster.

Tuesday night saw an old-fashioned pitching duel in Lancaster backed up with plenty of defensive gems. Unfortunately for the Lady Tigers, Schuyler County was the last one standing in the 2-1 defeat.

Scotland County took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Abi Feeney led off with a walk. With two outs, she was able to score all the way from first base when Ashleigh Creek reached on an error on an errant throw from third base that got by the first baseman.

Schuyler County came right back in the bottom of the frame. The Rams led off the inning with a blooper that landed and died between the pitcher and home plate for an infield single. After a wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt, Megan Haley delivered an RBI ground out to knot the score at 1-0.

After that point, pitchers Ashleigh Creek and Dystine Priebe locked horns, putting up zeros on the scoreboard.

Ashleigh Creek fields a bunt and fires to Katie Feeney at first base to record the out.

Ashleigh Creek fields a bunt and fires to Katie Feeney at first base to record the out.

SCR-I managed a base runner each inning until the sixth, but was unable to advance anyone past first base. Julie Long singled in the second, but was stranded. Stevi See and Abby Blessing walked in the third and fourth innings before Abi Feeney got a base hit in the fifth, but Priebe worked out of the jams, in large part thanks to nine strikeouts.

Her defense helped out a bit, as center fielder Brooke Whitton made a fine running grab in deep center field to rob Creek of extra bases in the third and Haley made a nice catch to rob Chelsea Wood of a hit in the fifth.

Creek matched the zeroes, albeit with a little more effort, struggling a bit with wild pitches that had the Lady Rams with runners in scoring position every inning.

Priebe singled and moved to second on a wild pitch in the second inning. Abi Feeney ended the threat with a diving grab on a line between short and third base.

The senior shortstop made back-to-back put outs in the third to leave a runner at third base. Maddie Brassfield then made a defensive gem at first base to end the threat in the fourth.

Schuyler County finally broke through for the winning run in the fifth inning. A leadoff single followed by a passed ball and a wild pitch allowed the Rams to score on a sacrifice fly.

Long smacked a one-out single in the seventh, her second hit of the contest, but Priebe closed out the rally to secure the 2-1 win for Schuyler County.

Scotland County fell to 6-5 on the season and 4-3 in the Lewis & Clark Conference.

Creek pitched six innings and allowed two runs, one earned on five hits and no walks while striking out three.

Priebe held SCR-I to just three hits and three walks over seven innings, surrendering just the one unearned run.

Rutledge School Building Sold

rutledge-web

The Village of Rutledge sold the school to the Restoration Society for $1.00 on Tuesday, September 20th at 12:00 p.m.  Those at the closing were Society members L to R Lyle Otte, Reva Hustead, Charlene Montgomery, Gwen Ludwick, Bob Hunolt, Dorothy Hunolt, Elaine Forrester, Betty Lodewegan, Lynn McClamroch,  (Keith Zimmerman and Carol McCabe from the Village) and Leon Trueblood.

Grand Hall Singspiration in Memphis

by-grace-ministry-web

The Rabers, part of the By Grace Ministry, will be hosting a Grand Hall Singspiration in Memphis at the Grand Hall, across from the BP Station, 418 E. Grand, on Sunday, October 2nd at 7:15 p.m.  They are also hosting a Men of Valor men’s meeting on Monday, October 3rd at 7:15 p.m.  Everyone is welcome and admission is a free will offering.  For more information about the By Grace Ministry, visit www.bygraceministry.com.

Area Children Enjoy Games at Annual Rutledge Fall Festival

The annual Rutledge Fall Festival was held Saturday, September 17th and several area children enjoyed participating in various games.  Karl DeMarce emceed the games this year.

Balloon Toss winners in the six to eight division included Trevor and Evan Tague (1st), Kadence Burnett (2nd), and Craig Pflum and Cole Mazziotti and Nina Knepp (tied for 3rd).  In the nine and over division winners were Owen and Lucas Durflinger (1st), Hunter Holt and Aden Aldridge (2nd), and Aaron McDaniel and Hugh Baker (3rd).

Shoe Kick winners in the five and under division were Natalie Tague (1st), Travis Tague (2nd), and Ethan Pflum (3rd).  In the six to eight division winners were Evan Tague (1st), Cole Mazziotti (2nd), and Nina Knepp, Trevor Tague and Cole Pflum (3rd).  In the nine and over division winners were Owen Triplett (1st), Riley Small (2nd), and Lucas Durflinger (3rd).

Running Race winners in the five and under division were Landon Davis (1st), Kinze Mallett and Travis Tague (2nd), and Natalie Tague (3rd).  In the six to eight division winners were Kaden See (1st), Cole Mazziotti (2nd), and Evan Tague and Nina Knepp (3rd).  In the nine and over division winners were Owen Triplett (1st), Hunter Holt (2nd), and Lucas Durflinger (3rd).

Egg Race winners in the five and under girls’ division were Kenzie Mallett (1st), Nora Guthrie (2nd), and Natalie Tague (3rd).  In the boys’ division winners were Travis Tague (1st), James Guthrie (2nd), and Clay White (3rd).  In the six to eight girls’ division, winners were Natalie Howerton (1st), Kayla Pflum (2nd), and Tegan Mallett (3rd).  Boys’ division winners were Trevor Tague (1st), Kadence Burnett (2nd), and Craig Pflum (3rd).  In the nine and over division, winners were Braydon Tietjens (1st), Aden Aldridge (2nd), and Owen Triplett and Lucas Durflinger (3rd).

Afternoon games included a Kiddie Tractor Pull, Tug-of-War Race and the Shirley Chancellor Memorial Hot Cookie Race.

SCR-I School Menus

Breakfast

Thursday, Sept. 29 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Friday, September 30 – Sausage/Gravy Biscuits, Choice of Cereal, Blueberry Muffin, Banana, Juice/Milk

Monday, October 3 – Waffles, Choice of Cereal, Cinnamon Biscuit, Apple Wedges, Juice/Milk

Tuesday, October 4 –Cinnamon Rolls, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Half, Juice/Milk

Wednesday, October 5 – Ham/Cheese/Croissant, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Fruit Medley, Juice/Milk

Thursday, October 6 – Breakfast Burrito, Choice of Cereal, Toast/Jelly, Orange Wedge/Grapes, Juice/Milk

Lunch

Thursday, Sept. 29 – Spaghetti/Meat Sauce, Chicken Wrap, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Garlic Bread, Sliced Peaches, Fresh Fruit

Friday, September 30 – Sack Lunch Today – HOMECOMING

Monday, October 3 – Chicken Ala King/Biscuit, Juicy Burger/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Chef Salad, Onion Rings, Peas, Mandarin Orange Slices, Fresh Fruit

Tuesday, October 4 – Cheeseburger/Bun, Tenderloin/Bun, 5th/6th Grade Taco Bar, Oven Ready Fries, Tomato Slices and Pickles, Applesauce, Fresh Fruit

Wednesday, October 5 –Country Fried Steak, Chicken Alfredo, 5th/6th Grade Potato Bar, Whipped Potatoes/Gravy, Broccoli/Cheese Sauce, Dinner Roll, Sliced Pears

Thursday, October 6 – Beef ‘N’ Tator Bake, Chicken Wrap, Hamburger Bar, Green Beans, Dinner Roll, Pineapple Tidbits, Fresh Fruit

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, Sept. 29 – BBQ or Plain Pork/Bun, French Fries, Cauliflower Blend Veggies, Mandarin Oranges, Cake

Friday, September 30 – Hot Beef Sandwich, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Coleslaw, Buttered Carrots, Pudding

Monday, October 3 – Juicy Burger/Bun, French Fries, Mixed Vegetables, Cottage Cheese, Peaches

Tuesday, October 4 – Roast Pork/Stuffing/Gravy, Sauerkraut, Green Beans, Slice Bread, Cake

Wednesday, October 5 – Chicken Strips, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Buttered Carrots, Hot Roll, Fruit Salad

Thursday, October 6 – Meatloaf, Macaroni Salad, Buttered Broccoli, Applesauce, Bread, Glazed Donut

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, Sept. 29 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, October 6 – Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Special 100-Year Homecoming Services This Weekend at First Christian Church

The Memphis First Christian Church will be hosting Homecoming Services to celebrate the completion of the current church building (located on corner of Jones and Main Streets) which was completed in 1916.  The celebration will take place this weekend –  September 30- October 1-2, 2016.

Phillip Gore and Tim Hawkins former ministers of the Memphis First Christian Church will be the speakers for the Sunday, October 2, morning worship service, and former Memphis resident Terry Rush will speak at the closing service on Sunday afternoon.  Following the morning service, there will be a luncheon served.

There will also be services on Friday, September 30, beginning at 7:00 with a “Linger Longer” fellowship time after the service.  On Saturday, October 1, there will be a barbecue at 5:00 with services beginning at 6:30.

Special music for the services will be provided by the Gateway Singers and Paul Burton and Mercy’s Bridge Band, a country gospel group.  The Planning Committee for the Church Homecoming Celebration will share historical information about First Christian Church as part of the three special services.

Members of the community are cordially invited to attend all of the services and meals for the celebration.

Mayor Reckenberg Proclaims Constitution Week, Sept. 17 – 23, 2016 in Memphis

Memphis Mayor William Reckenberg was joined by members of the Jauflione Chapter of the NSDAR to sign a proclamation declaring Constitution Week in Memphis.

Memphis Mayor William Reckenberg was joined by members of the Jauflione Chapter of the NSDAR to sign a proclamation declaring Constitution Week in Memphis.

On Friday, September 23, 2016, Mayor William Reckenberg signed and issued a proclamation announcing September 17 through 23, 2016 to be Constitution Week in Memphis, and asks our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787.

The Proclamation reads as follows:

Whereas, September 17, 2016 marks the two hundred and twenty-ninth anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution of the United States of America by the Constitutional Convention; and

Whereas, it is fitting and proper to officially recognize this magnificent document and the anniversary of its creation; and

Whereas, it is fitting and proper to officially recognize the patriotic celebrations which will commemorate the occasion; and

Whereas, public law 915 guarantees the issuing of a proclamation each year by the President of the United States of America designation September 17 through 23 as Constitution Week;

NOW THEREFORE, I, William Reckenberg, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Memphis in the County of Scotland do hereby proclaim September 17 through 23, 2016 as CONSTITUTION WEEK and ask our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the Framers of the Constitution had in 1787 by vigilantly protecting the freedoms guaranteed to us through this guardian of our liberties, remembering that lost rights may never be regained.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of Memphis to be affixed this twenty-third day of September in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen.

The United States Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties and freedoms and to ensure those unalienable rights to every American.

In 1955 the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) petitioned the Federal Government to dedicate September 17-23 as Constitution Week.  Congress adopted the resolution and on August 2, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into Public Law 915.  DAR Chapters have been observing Constitution Week various ways since then.  The local Chapter, Jauflione, places a display in a store window to remind the public of the Constitution and its significance to our way of life.  The city Mayor also issues a proclamation declaring Constitution Week.  This is an annual reminder of the inalienable rights the Constitution affords all Americans.

The aims of the celebration are to:  (1) Emphasize citizen’s responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution, (2) Inform people that the Constitution is the basis for American’s great heritage and the foundation for our way of life and (3) To encourage the study of the historical events which led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787.

Written in 1787, the Constitution was signed September 17th.  But it wasn’t until 1788 that it was ratified by the necessary nine states.

The Constitution is a living document, being amended 27 times.  Of the written national constitutions, the U.S. Constitution is the oldest and shortest.

Jauflione Chapter, NSDAR helps keep alive the memory of the men and women who secured the Nation’s independence, whose bravery and sacrifice made possible the liberties Americans enjoy today.

« Older Entries