Give the Declaration of Independence Another Read

Article excerpt

Byline: Barbara Ferguson

Happy Fourth of July! This is a different type of Independence Day than we celebrated last year. Sept. 11 has transformed it into a more reflective occasion. The very words, liberty and freedom, have a deeper significance now.

This is not to say that we should not have a wonderful time. We should still enjoy all of the events planned by our Sleepy Hollow Service Club. We should join in the parade, play the games, munch on hamburgers and hot dogs, and delight in the fireworks show, but maybe we can add one little bit more to the day.

I know families that on Christmas Day read the account of it from the Bible. Why not read the Declaration of Independence today as a family? I recently just read it for the first time in about 30 years and there is much more to it than the seven or eight lines that we are most familiar with. The words were debated and carefully written to lay the groundwork for the creation of a new form of government.

Since more of us have a computer in our home than a copy of the Declaration of Independence, you can find it on the Internet at www.archives.gov. This is the Web site of the United States National Archives and Records Administration. There is a great deal of fascinating things there, and you might want to pay it a return visit to check out of the Constitution and the Bill of the Rights and other significant documents, too. …