The brutal afternoon sun didn't stop a group of attorneys from reading the entire Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights Tuesday outside the Smith County Courthouse.
About 70 people, including some federal prosecutors, attended the event where, for the second year, the Smith County Defense Lawyers Association and the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association took turns reading the documents.
“This is something we should cherish — we should reflect on the Bill of Rights,” Reeve Jackson, president of the Smith County Defense Lawyers Association, said before the event began.
The reading is a part of a grassroots effort by the associations to raise awareness of the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the reason for American independence as set out in the Declaration of Independence of July 4, 1776, according to a news release from the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.
“The men who gathered more than 200 years ago would be grateful to know that their legacy remains so that the free men and women can gather in the city's square to read the words they wrote so carefully,” Volberding said.
A group of men dressed in three-cornered hats and costumes from the Revolutionary War era presented the colors before the reading and marched in procession with a drum, sword and flags. The men, members of the Sons of the American Revolution Capt. William Barron Chapter, said they try to promote patriotism.
Matthew, along with his dad, Stephen Lee, and his brother Britton Lee have traced their family history back to relatives who fought in the American Revolution.
Also in attendance were Mayor Barbara Bass and state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler.
Mayor Bass said after the reading it is important every year to “remember our rights and freedoms as well as those who have given the ultimate sacrifices — our military.”
For more information, go to www.tcdla.com.