‘One voice’: Washington County performs first countywide reading of the Constitution

ST. GEORGE — Washington County government leaders, police, fire and emergency responders, active officers, military veterans, students and residents of all backgrounds came together to commemorate a reading of the Constitution of the United States of America to become “one voice” to all Americans.

Washington County School District Superintendent Richard Homes welcomes attendees to the first ever countywide reading of the U.S. Constitution within the nation, St. George, Utah, Sept. 15, 2023 | Photo by Nick Yamashita, St. George News

The reading of the Constitution was the first ever countywide reading within the nation, taking place on Friday, commemorating the recognition of Constitution Day on Sunday, Sept. 17.

“We did this on Friday instead of Sunday, Constitution Day, because we wanted all the students to participate,” Washington County Commissioner Adam Snow said to those assembled. He added it was to be “one voice” together in celebration of freedom and our lives.

The reading event held four sessions so more county citizens would have the opportunity to participate in the historic occasion.

The four sessions were at 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3 p.m.

The event was coordinated and co-sponsored by United We Pledge with support and help from the Daughters of the American Revolution Color Country Chapter, the Sons of the American Revolution Red Cliffs of Zion Chapter, Washington County and the Washington County School District.

The initial idea came from Consitution Live under the direction of Youth Council Member Catherine Findlay, who shared the vision with county officials.

The event helps fulfill the requirements of new state law, H.B. 179: Founders and Consitution Recognition, which officially dedicates the month of September as an observance of the country’s founders and its governing document.

St. George News attended the 1:30 p.m. session and was welcomed by Washington County School District Superintendent Richard Holmes who gave a little history of the national treasure.

The Constitution is 230 years old and has 27 amendments, all written as a result of residents coming together as “one” to make improvements to the supreme law of the land. However, it didn’t happen easily, he noted.

“Creating it brought about great debate, heated disagreements and difficult compromises,” Holmes said. “It continues to stand today as a beacon to us and all nations that even to our challenges, liberty is possible with civil debate and thoughtful compromise.”

Washington County and United We Pledge hosted the first ever countywide reading of the U.S. Constitution within the nation, St. George, Utah, Sept. 15, 2023 | Photo by Nick Yamashita, St. George News

The reading of the Constitution took about 45 minutes, with readers dressed in colonial costume, military uniforms, first responder uniforms, school jackets, team jerseys and full regalia of the red, white and blue symbolism.

After reading several students from Crimson Cliffs, Desert Hills and Dixie High School said it was one of the most patriotic and spiritually memorable experiences ever.

Snow told the students they were now smarter than most adults in the country as they had read through the entire Constitution, which he claimed the majority of adults have not done in their lifetime.

“Everything we do and the decisions we make honestly affects your lives every single day, comes from those two documents (Constitution and Preamble to Constitution),” he said.

He said it was important that all American citizens know what the Constitution means and not to ignore the lessons within.

Holmes said even though the event didn’t place on the official Constitution Day, they still invited all those in attendance to ring a bell on Sunday at 2 p.m. to commemorate the official signing of the national document in 1787.

“If we could use our platform as elected officials to educate the next generation on the importance of the Constitution, we will absolutely do that,” Snow said.

All materials for the event were provided by Constitution Live, and 10,000 booklets of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were provided to all students of the school district, as well as students of charter and home schools, by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

The readings are available on the United We Pledge YouTube Channel.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.

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