Time to go public.
About 12 or more years ago, I decided to 'do' what I had not been seeing enough of being 'done' by anyone else.
Stated simply, seeing that the Declaration of Independence was being read publicly - and therefore recognized and acknowledged in the midst of - if not instead of - fireworks, three-legged races, and lots more fun and games.
So I read it publicly. To a small group. Maybe 10 or 12 people showed up. And then the next year, a few more showed up. And so on. After a few years the Town's 'patriotic events chair' asked me to be part of the town's program. So, after the obligatory flag-raising at the Veteran's Memorial, the reading had an audience of about thirty or so.
That worked for a couple of years until we moved to a shaded area. That competed with the activity involved to set up the booths and vendors for the 'real' activities to celebrate the 4th of July. That's when I realized that's what the holiday was called. Nobody knew the NAME of the holiday was 'really' Independence Day.
One year a local lady wondered if her children could take part in the Reading. I previewed them at their home. The 10 year old girl and her 8 year old brother had memorized the whole Declaration!
They were the program that year!
A couple years later, the folks at Philadelphia had them for that historic site's program.
Without a planned media promotion, the word was getting around about this community based reading of the whole thing. Some even driving 90 miles to come up from Phoenix.
Many would come up me to express they 'had never heard the whole thing before!!'
Last year I was motivated to do some research on just how many public community readings were taking place wherever the three-legged races and fireworks were.
Two days of searching the internet and I found that ONLY 43 other communities claimed such a reading to be part of their program. Our program in Payson was the 44th. Forty were east of the Mississippi. Payson, in Arizona, was the westernmost.
My project then became to get more communities involved. This country only came into being when a Declaration was first signed on July 2, and read publicly on July 4 of 1776.
Our Founders would be aghast at the lack of awareness of this country's beginnings. I'm aghast at a wholesale diversion to a party and fireworks atmosphere without recognizing the basis for it all.
Stepping back from the hoorahs and hot dogs, I see this as the failure of an educational system to EDUCATE while ensuring a gradual acceptance of more and more top-down 'authority'.
I, for one, claim my independence from the behemoth of a 'nation' resulting from an association of the original 13 independent States that had been separate colonies.
History itself has been re-programmed to deny the Founders. We can only recover when the Declaration itself is more widely understand by each of us, and realize how the Constitution has come to deny us what the Declaration intended.
That's an overly long response.
But needed, as more people need to be motivated to simply READ the Declaration. And then, and only then, to UNDERSTAND the meaning of being independent.
More specifically, to go beyond quietly reading it in the privacy of their home, then to share in a public, community, reading.
Its the beginning of reclaiming our Independence, while rejecting the new overlords created by accepting the Fed, the IRS, the NSA, the FBI, the CIA, etc., etc., acting as the new overlords, rather than the servants envisioned by the Constitution as existing until Abraham Lincoln's time.
It must begin, where it has always been, with each one of us - in each generation -
understanding our power, and our individual responsibility.
Join with me in this effort to recover what has been taken from us by those whose interests are simply to control - control being the opposite of independence.
It is each of us, yes, ALL of us, who must step up, not to hide behind some soulless, corporate identity.
Let's learn how to get along, even with those in the world that deny the Golden Rule.
Thanks for putting up with me.
There's room in the trenches.