Paige shared some facts about the Declaration of Independence.
By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
Around July 4, Americans prepare for celebrations around their communities. There are countless barbecues and pool parties, not to mention wrangling to find the perfect spot to catch fireworks. Through it all, though, everyone’s mind is fixated on the thought of how this country came to be.
And what better way to celebrate the country’s genesis than reading the document that made it official?
On Saturday, June 29, Medfield citizens gathered on the brick walkway between the library and the gazebo to hear just that.
Some visitors even showed up in costume, wearing Revolutionary-style hats. Others came with breakfast to enjoy during the reading, taking a seat on nearby benches. It was amidst this scene that Mike Paige appeared on the balcony of the second floor of the library, ready to read perhaps the most important document involved in establishing The United States.
Before he began his recitation, Paige reminded the crowd of a few important facts about the Declaration of Independence and its signers. “Thomas Jefferson was the last person on the list to write the Declaration of Independence,” noted Paige about the famous founding father. There was, he explained, a list of almost half a dozen other people considered before Jefferson, including his friend, John Adams. But Adams knew that people didn’t consider him likable and convinced Jefferson to write it in his stead.
Paige added that John Adams believed that Independence Day would be celebrated on July 2 rather than July 4 - July 2nd was the day that this makeshift government voted to declare independence. The document itself, though dated July 4, wasn’t actually signed until early August during a ceremony.
Paige’s audience quieted down when it came time for the reading. Kids who had been fidgeting stopped, looked up, and listened as they heard the words that began this country. Paige spoke flawlessly as he read. Though serious throughout the reading, audience members smiled once Paige reached the critical point in the document. “That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved.”
With these words, Thomas Jefferson and his fellow patriots made it clear that they would no longer be British colonists; instead, they would be Americans.
Today, from sea to shining sea, we still hold the words of Thomas Jefferson closely and are thankful for the freedom we have.