Charters of Freedom dedicated at Tribute to Veterans Memorial

By Jack Underwood, Staff Writer
Posted 6/4/24

The charters had been under construction for months and were finally completed just before the ceremony.

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Charters of Freedom dedicated at Tribute to Veterans Memorial


There was a crowd gathered at the Tribute to Veterans Memorial in Warrenton for a Memorial Day Service Monday morning. While the Tribute to Veterans traditionally organizes a service for the holiday, this year’s events carried a special significance. 

Along with the service, attendees were there to witness the dedication of the Charters of Freedom installation that was recently completed. 

The Charters of Freedom include three of this nation’s founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They are displayed under glass and engraved on large brass tablets. 

The display is designed to mimic the real documents at the National Archives in Washington D.C. The installation was created in part by Foundation Forward, a national organization that helps communities build displays like the one in Warrenton for their educational value. 

The organization's founders, Vance and Mary Jo Patterson, spoke at the event as well about why they began installing the Charters of Freedom across the country and why they felt they were so important. 

“We believe it gives us a direct link to our founding fathers by helping to preserve what it is they gave this country, a government to serve and protect we the people,” Patterson said. 

The installation is the first of its kind in the state of Missouri and the 56th overall that Foundation Forward has built across the nation. 

The Charters of Freedom were dedicated by Patterson with a description of each of the seven articles of the U.S. Constitution and a cannon salute for each article. While the cannons were diminutive in stature, the shots rang deafeningly across the memorial. 

Attendees were also asked to sign their names on a sign-in sheet as a record of the dedication. That sheet will be buried in a time capsule along with other items at a ceremony planned for next year. 

The time capsules are a part of the Charters of Freedom installations and are not to be removed until the 300th anniversary of the day the Constitution was written, on Sept. 17, 2087. 

Patterson concluded his remarks by challenging attendees to visit the new setting often, asking that they make use of the educational opportunity that was now available in Warrenton. 

“You bring your child, your grandchild, your niece, your nephew down here to your Charter of Freedom, and you have a talk,” Patterson said. “You tell them about their freedoms and rights, and how those freedoms and rights give them an advantage over the rest of the world to pursue their passion, to chase their dreams, to accomplish their goals and to get out of life what they want to get out of life.”

Veterans, Charters of Freedom