To the editor:
I would like to invite the general public to remember what the holiday on July 4 is really all about. It's not about cookouts, parades, or fireworks. It's about "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." That is why we should not "Celebrate the 4th"; instead, we should "Celebrate Independence Day" as our Founding Fathers called it.
The Founding Fathers of this great country voted for independence from the British government on July 2, 1776. The Declaration of Independence was a written explanation to their fellow colonists as to why the Continental Congress had voted this way. This document was formally adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776, but it was not signed until August 2.
I would like to invite the public to participate in reading the Declaration of Independence at 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 4, at the Doughboy statue in Tiverton by the old Stone Bridge next to Grinnell's Beach. We all need to remember why we enjoy the freedom we have in this country, and why the Congress declared our independence as a separate country from Britain.
I will have a limited supply of Declarations available to read from, but you are welcome to bring your own copy. I hope you will share your experience at this public reading with others who could not be there - and why it is called Independence Day. Then you can go to your cookouts, parades, and fireworks knowing why it is such a great American holiday.
p.s. I wrote this invitation last year and about 50 people came - both adults and children read the Declaration aloud, and made our hearts proud to hear the words said in public again. A great way to spend about thirty minutes on such a glorious day!