Douglas County celebrated U.S. Constitution Day on Monday by hosting a barbecue for its employees in Minden Park.
"The Fourth of July has become anything but patriotic," said Dennis Little, a retired county employee who started the county's celebration of Constitution Day in 1998, when he worked for the community development and building department. "We need to look at the efforts and benefits of our forefathers rather than having a huge beach party."
Pamphlet-sized U.S. Constitutions were handed out as county employees ranging from administrators to firefighters enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs. Lisa Thomas, also with community development and building, sang the national anthem.
East Fork Justice of the Peace Jim EnEarl spoke to the crowd.
"The constitution is a living document," EnEarl said.
He said the Constitution is flexible enough to serve modern society, capable of being interpreted and amended differently, but that citizens should be vigilant in preserving the basic rights it guarantees.
"Hopefully it's never eroded to the point were it's meaningless," EnEarl said. "We must zealously guard it."
County Commission Chairman Doug Johnson said that people should remember the populist nature of the constitution.
"It's most profound statement is 'We the people,' not I, not you, but us," Johnson said.
Johnson presented a commemorative plaque to Janet Hawkins, who represents the John C. Fremont chapter of Daughters of the Revolution.
"Our forefathers were soldiers, not necessarily generals, but soldiers who with their wives and families helped establish the constitution," Hawkins said.
Val Nunes, a plans examiner for Douglas County, said that if it weren't for the constitution we wouldn't have a country.
"We need to honor it," Nunes said. "We need to remember our freedoms and our responsibilities."