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Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage at Constitution Day, Sept. 19

NPS Park Ranger Josh StringerThe shaping of America required extraordinary courage by ordinary citizens who challenged the status quo to secure a better future, says National Park Service Park Ranger Josh Stringer who will guide a look at the NPS as an agent to protect our unique American story, heritage, and ideals set forth by America's founding documents.

He speaks at the annual Constitution Day conference, 7 p.m. September 19 in the LIT Multipurpose Center Auditorium on the corner of East Lavaca Street and Jimmy Simmons Boulevard. The event is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by Lamar University and Lamar Institute of Technology

Constitution Day, an American federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens, is observed during the week of September 17, the day in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document in Philadelphia.

Stringer is the Centennial Coordinator at Big Thicket National Preserve.  In the Centennial year for the National Park Service, he organizes Centennial events, performs community outreach, and conducts programming throughout the region.  Following his retirement from the Army in 2015 after 21 years of service, he is thrilled to be an NPS Park Ranger and share America’s National Parks with visitors from around the world as places of American identity, global unity and common understanding.

Big Thicket National Preserve is a place of discovery with nine uniquely diverse ecosystems and home to converging habitats where the richness of nature flourishes.  Outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and paddling on 40 miles of trails and 100 miles of waterways provide excellent opportunities to experience nature’s beauty.

The law establishing the present holiday was created in 2004. Before this law was enacted, the holiday was known as “Citizenship Day.” In addition to renaming the holiday “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” the act mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions, and all federal agencies, provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day. In May 2005, the U.S. Department of Education announced the enactment of the law and that it would apply to any school receiving federal funds of any kind.