Patriot Week renews America’s spirit by deepening the appreciation of the First Principles, Founding Fathers and other Patriots, vital documents and speeches, and flags that make America the greatest nation in world history.
Many of our current holidays have become overly commercialized or have lost their deeper meaning. We need to invigorate our appreciation and understanding of America’s spirit.
Anchored by the key dates of September 11 (the anniversary of the terrorist’s attacks) and September 17 (Constitution Day, the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution by our Founding Fathers), the schedule for each day has a separate focus. Co-created in 2009 by then 10-year-old Leah Warren and her father Judge Michael Warren, Patriot Week has captured the imagination and support of citizens across the nation.
America’s survival as a free republic is at grave risk. Studies upon studies reveal that our K-12 students, university students, and general public are generally uninformed and uneducated about American history, civics, and the Constitution. As a free people, we are responsible for our destiny. We have a solemn obligation to educate all citizens continuously and comprehensively about the foundations of our liberties or the blessings of freedom will be lost.
This understanding was deeply embraced by the Founding Fathers. On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail that the anniversary of American independence. What is missing today is Adams’ conjoined expectation that “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized…” Over time, the civic holidays were stripped of their meaning and commercialized – now they are empty excuses for appliance sales, barbecues, and three-day weekends.
At a one-on-one lunch with his then 10-year-old daughter, Leah, Judge Warren explained the importance – and demise – of the civic calendar. Outraged, Leah took it to heart and immediately vowed to do something about it. Patriot Week was born.
Inspired by the Kwanzaa model, in which each day is dedicated to a specific principle, they agreed that the celebration should be a week with key anchor dates. They selected September 11 (the anniversary of the terrorist attacks – which has deep significance to this generation) and September 17 (the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution – Constitution Day (schools receiving federal education funds are required to teach about the Constitution on that day)).
They also determined that each day should be dedicated to a First Principle from our Declaration of Independence: revolution; the rule of law; the Social Compact; unalienable rights; equality (racial); equality (gender); and limited government. Each day also commemorates the Founding Fathers and other great Patriots that made those First Principles come alive in America; key documents and speeches embodying the First Principles; and historical flags that represent them.
Since 2009, Patriot Week has caught fire across the nation. Bi-partisan Patriot Week resolutions and proclamations have been issued by over 17 Governors and State Legislatures, and various counties and municipalities. In 2019 and 2020, the US Senate unanimously passed a Patriot Week resolution, co-sponsored by a Democrat (Senator Gary Peters) and Republican (Senator John Kennedy).
This unique, historically grounded, non-partisan approach is desperately needed in our very toxic political environment. In no small measure, the fate of the nation depends on it.
Earl ‘Skip’ Cooper II is the chairman/founder of the Earl Skip Cooper Foundation and chairman of the board/president emeritus of the Black Business Association. Cooper is also a
100% disabled Vietnam veteran.