With the upcoming release of the newly-revised Deer Run Saga, I am posting the excerpt of the 4th of July reading of the Declaration of Independence that is a crescendo event for the character of Daniel Lowe. This excerpt is from Road to Deer Run:
The older man was similar in appearance to Josiah, but the resemblance ended there, as the father had a more humble demeanor in both his countenance and speech. He read the Declaration with a clear, audible tone, obviously moved by the passion underlying the text. It was easy to understand why Mr. Grant had been chosen to do the reading.
“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 a separation.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government…”
The speaker continued with the words that listed the “long train of abuses” King George had levied against the colonies.
Daniel listened in awe at the words. He’d never heard this document read before or seen it in print. The colonists’ message of outrage and their fervor to obtain justice for the people of America awakened his understanding of the Revolution.
Sunset was upon them as unbidden tears worked a path down Daniel’s face. Mary placed her arm around his waist and rested her head against his shoulder. His spirit was unexpectedly moved by the whole event as he put his arms around her shoulders.
Mr. Grant slowly and fervently read the ﬁnal line to the audience of listeners: “And for the support of this Declaration,” he read, “with a ﬁrm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor.”
Selectman Grant rolled up the parchment and slowly walked oﬀ of the meetinghouse steps.
There was not a dry face in the group of onlookers who stood in silence. The mood was so somber that none seemed of a mind to move. Everyone knew what this document had already cost, and they all knew that they were not yet ﬁnished paying the price of this Revolution. Many had already paid with their lives.