Hillsdale’s Constitution Day Celebration featured speeches with a theme of vigilance for the future of the country and preservation of the founding ideals embodied in the Constitution.
The event, which is held annually in Washington, D.C., was at the Trump International Hotel. Speakers discussed election integrity, civil liberties, recovering American greatness, and the rise of China, all emphasizing that it will take courage to preserve America’s founding ideals.
Tuesday, the first day of the celebration, involved dinner, remarks from Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn, and a keystone speech from Mark Meadows, chief of staff for former President Donald Trump. The celebration concluded Wednesday afternoon with final speeches, panels, and a luncheon.
More than 450 guests attended from all over the country, including faculty, staff, alumni, students, and supporters of the college.
Since the Allan P. Kirby Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship opened in 2010, the college has hosted an annual Constitution Day Celebration to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.
Each year, the program explores the continuing relevance of the Founders’ Constitution for American politics today.
Mark Meadows, a senior partner at the Conservative Partnership Institute, gave an address titled “Is Election Integrity a Thing of the Past?” on Tuesday night. He encouraged those in attendance to take action in today’s political climate.
“What we lack in D.C. is not the right policy or piece of legislation. We lack the courage to get it done,” Meadows said. “It is time for courageous men and women to stand up for the Constitution and their country.”
Meadows discussed what the country should expect with presidential and congressional elections going forward. Regarding the 2020 presidential election, Meadows said he believes it was not entirely fair and proper.
“There’s enough evidence out there to suggest otherwise,” Meadows said.
At the Conservative Partnership Institute, Meadows and his staff are developing a handbook for election accountability, making it easy to vote and hard to cheat, he said. Their mission is to train volunteers to recognize election fraud and spend time monitoring their local ballot boxes during election seasons. If fraud is happening on the local level, CPI fights it at the local level.
Meadows concluded his speech with a story about his trip to the White House with Trump in “The Beast,” the armored car of the president of the United States. He related his experience to the greater American dream, made possible by the principles of equality in the Constitution.
“Only in America can a nobody from nowhere ride with the most powerful person on the face of the globe,” Meadows said.
The Constitution Day Celebration is an occasion to bring together like-minded people who are passionate about America and its founding, according to Jennifer Lessnau, Undergraduate Program Coordinator at the Allan P. Kirby Jr. Center.
“Having alumni and friends of the college join together in celebrating Hillsdale and its mission is always an exciting time,” Lessnau said.
Jack Rowe, a senior George Washington Fellow who gave the invocation and pledge at Tuesday night’s dinner, said he was honored to take part in the event.
“To have a chance to interact with nationally-known scholars and meet people from all walks of life who love our institution and love what it stands for certainly puts things into perspective,” Rowe said.