Printed on: September 18, 2013

Honoring the fallen

BYU-Idaho holds Constitution Day celebration

By NATE SUNDERLAND
nsunderland@postregister.com

REXBURG -- Rain and cold didn't stop Brigham Young University-Idaho students from celebrating Constitution Day on Tuesday.

Dozens of student volunteers worked late Monday night and early Tuesday setting up a patriotic display honoring soldiers and civilians who died during the American Revolutionary War.

Constitution Day is a federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. It is held Sept. 17, the same day members of the Constitutional Convention signed the nation's founding document in 1787.

The outdoor amphitheater on campus was decked out with 500 modern and vintage American flags. Each flag represented 50 soldiers or civilians who died in the war.

"As students, we really need to remember the sacrifice that was made for us and have a spirit of gratitude for those people who died for us," student organizer Anthony Hernandez said. "These little displays of remembrance are great ways to show our gratitude and give students information about our country."

The amphitheater also had a variety of displays about the Constitution and amendments to the document, as well as the Bill of Rights, the Founding Fathers and information about the original 13 states.

Student organizers held a brief ceremony at 11 a.m. The BYU-Idaho Army ROTC presented the colors, and students recited the Pledge of Allegiance and held a moment of silence for those who died during the war.

"There was a real feeling of reverence and respect here for our forefathers, " senior Sarah Geddes said. "I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to be here and show my respect on Constitution Day."

Last year, BYU-Idaho held an event to honor the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. This year, the student council decided to focus on Constitution Day and the American Revolutionary War, Hernandez said.

Senior Ryan Agostinelli read through the first 10 constitutional amendments for the first time at Tuesday's presentation.

"Sometimes, it seems like a lot of people don't really care about these things," Agostinelli said. "But it is important people keep up with these things because it is what has brought us here today."

Reporter Nate Sunderland can be reached at 542-6763.