On 4 July 2022, the Colonel James Wood II Chapter of the Virginia Society Sons of the American Revolution read the Declaration of Independence on the Walking Mall in Winchester, Virginia. They marched on the mall to the front of the Old Courthouse where they posted the flags before reading the document. It was on July 4, 1776, Congress declared the following: "The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen United States of America, when in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
After the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, Britain needed to pay for the war and began taxing the American colonies. The colonists felt their rights as Englishmen were being abused. This resulted in armed conflict with Great Britain which began on 19 April 1775 with the Battles of Lexington and Concord. At this time, few of the colonists wanted to separate from Britain. However, as the fighting continued, Britain asserted itself by means of large armed forces and did not make strong gestures towards reconciliation with the colonies. Americans increasingly believed they must secure their rights. A Continental Congress advised each of the colonies to establish their own governments. At the Second Continental Congress on 11 June, a committee consisting of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston was chosen to prepare a statement of independence. Jefferson wrote the initial draft with slight changes made by the committee. It's main points include people having guaranteed rights: rights to life,liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The document was approved by the Continental Congress on 4 July 1776, announcing the separation of 13 North American British colonies from Great Britain. The Declaration of Independence outlines the history of abuses the colonists suffered under British rule since 1763 and officially records the proclamation that the United States is an independent country from Great Britain. The signers pledged "For the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes and our sacred Honor." The actual signing of the document began on 2 Aug with seven additional signatures added later. Participating in the reading from the Colonel James Wood II Chapter were Brian Bayliss, Sean Carrigan, Dale Corey, Thomas "Chip" Daniel, Brett Osborn, Will Reynolds, Marc Robinson, Mike St Jacques and Richard Tyler.
First photo is a reading of the Declaration of Independence. l. to r. Mike St Jacques, Will Reynolds, Brett Osborn, Brian Bayliss, Thomas "Chip" Daniel, Sean Carrigan, Richard Tyler and Marc Robinson.
RIGHT - photo is l. to r. Mike St Jacques, Will Reynolds, Brian Bayliss