Minute Man National Historical Park celebrated Independence Day with a reading of the Declaration of Independence. Park volunteers, rangers and hundreds of guests from around the country assembled at North Bridge for the annual reading of the document, which announced that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as independent sovereign states, no longer under the rule of Great Britain.
Volunteer Bill Rose read the Lee Resolution, which first proposed independence in June of 1776. Ranger Jim Hollister then challenged the audience, “Take yourselves back to the summer of 1776. With a war still raging on land and sea, the future is anything but certain. In the midst of all your hopes and fears imagine you are hearing these words spoken for the very first time.”
Volunteer Ed Hurley came forward to read the Declaration of Independence in its entirety. The audience of more than 300 people sat in silence. After the reading and musket salute from North Bridge by members of the 10th Massachusetts Regiment, the crowd spontaneously broke out in singing “God Bless America.”