Constitution Day was celebrated in style at Montclair State University on September 14 with pomp and ceremony, visiting dignitaries, enlightening panel discussions on the Constitution, and a moving National 9/11 Flag stitching ceremony honoring local service heroes.
Created to commemorate the September 1787 signing of the U.S. Constitution by the founding fathers, Constitution Day is celebrated on many campuses around the nation. At Montclair State, the day’s events were sponsored and organized by the American Democracy Project.
The day’s events kicked off with an opening ceremony featuring a procession of local service heroes including Montclair State University police officers and EMT members, firefighters and police officers from surrounding communities, and military veterans, all led by a bagpipe band.
With the National 9/11 Flag as a backdrop, President Susan A. Cole and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Willard Gingerich offered words of greeting followed by speeches from New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow, Governor Richard J. Codey, Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., and Jeff Parness, founder and chairman of the New York Says Thank You Foundation, the stewards of the National 9/11 Flag.
Local service heroes nominated by the public—many of whom are members of the University community—were on hand to participate in the National 9/11 Flag stitching ceremony. Those so honored were given the opportunity to add stitches to the New Jersey patch that is being sewn onto the flag in the year-long effort to restore the flag to its original 13-stripe format.
Constitution Day at Montclair State also offered an educational component as leading experts discussed the U.S. Constitution in two panel discussions. Featuring U.S. District Court and New Jersey Superior Court judges, as well as Montclair State deans and faculty, the participants discussed the Constitution’s impact on judicial decisions being made today concerning important emerging issues and the relevant impact on our ever-changing national landscape.
Moderated by Montclair State University Professor of Political Science and Law Brigid Harrison, the discussions focused on how the panel participants—all with diverse backgrounds—considered the ways in which interpretations of the Constitution impact our lives and cultures.
By the time the Constitution Day activities ended at 9:00 p.m., it was clear that the day had been a tremendous success. It was an inspiring, enlightening, rousing, and at times, emotional day for those who participated and will undoubtedly be a day they remember for a long time to come.
Read an article about the event in The Star-Ledger.
Listen to WBGO Radio's radio coverage.
View news coverage from FIOS1 News and WMBC-TV.
View more Star-Ledger photos.