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NO. R-324. JOINT RESOLUTION DESIGNATING DECEMBER 15 OF EACH YEAR AS BILL OF RIGHTS DAY.

(J.R.S. 108)

Offered by: Senator Sears of Bennington County.

Whereas, the first ten Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America, known collectively as the Bill of Rights, were ratified on December 15, 1791, and

Whereas, the Bill of Rights recognizes, affirms and protects fundamental human and civil rights for which persons of all races have struggled for thousands of years, and

Whereas, to preserve the rights and freedoms secured by the Bill of Rights, our forefathers, and subsequently hundreds of thousands of men and women serving in the police agencies and armed forces of the United States, have sacrificed, suffered and died, and

Whereas, the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the United States Bill of Rights deserve perennial celebration, and the sacrifices made to protect the Bill of Rights deserve eternal remembrance, and

Whereas, in the state of Vermont, there has not been a special day designated to annually commemorate the ratification of the Bill of Rights, and

Whereas, several of the original 13 states refused to ratify the United States Constitution without a commitment that an express Bill of Rights would be added, and

Whereas, the commemoration of the Bill of Rights with a designated special day would honor the fundamental rights it enshrines, and the sacrifices made to create and preserve these rights, and

Whereas, a designated Bill of Rights Day would annually proclaim these rights to the citizens of Vermont, to our nation and the entire world, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly designates December 15 of each year, beginning in the year 2000, as Bill of Rights Day, and be it further

Resolved: That all agencies and departments of state government and the public schools of Vermont are encouraged to commemorate this day in a manner that reflects the meaning and importance of each of the constitutional amendments contained in the Bill of Rights, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Secretary of Administration Kathy Hoyt, to Chief Justice Jeffrey Amestoy and to Commissioner of Education David Wolk.