Proud patriots celebrate Constitution|Event welcomes wide-array of Washingtonians

Published 7:02 pm Sunday, September 20, 2009

Community Editor

A diverse crowd of over 100 people put aside political differences on Saturday morning at Veteran’s Park to celebrate the 222nd anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution.
The non-partisan event, in its fifth year, was marked with much patriotism, pageantry, singing and celebration.
Americans and “original” Washingtonians black and white, young and old, and everywhere in-between participated in the hour-plus celebration, which started at 11 a.m.
A group of talented young girls that included Zaria Cobb, Jordan Dixon, Leland Gates, Hannah Groves and Emily Morris stole the show with a roaring rendition of “This Land is Your Land.”
The Brotherhood of Harmony, a group of foreign war veterans based out of Greenville and featuring several Washington residents, also got the crowd singing to the patriotic sounds of “North Carolina is My Home” and “God Bless America.”
Father Arturo Cabra from the Mother of Mercy Catholic Church gave the keynote address at the event. He said his appreciation of the Constitution derives from his long journey to becoming a U.S. citizen.
“The possibility of becoming an American citizen is a great benefit of the American constitution,” the native Colombian said.
Cabra received his citizenship on Oct. 28, 2008, days before the most recent presidential election. He said the right to vote is the most important right of the constitution, and he exercised it soon after becoming a citizen.
“When I think of the blood so many Americans have shed … I am very humbled to call myself an American,” Cabra said.
Other highlights from the event included a speech about the Preamble to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights by Jeff Lewis, the national director of the FIRE Coalition, the Patriot Coalition and the founder of, and a speech about the authors of the U.S. Constitution and their Christian faith by Jackie Van Essendelft.
The event was co-organized by the Beaufort County Committee for Constitutional Studies and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6088.
George Schryer, district commander for Post 6088, said the purpose of the celebration was to encourage people to become knowledgeable about the U.S. Constitution.
“We need to remind lawmakers and educators the importance of liberty,” he said.