Before a crowd of about 25 residents of Sweetwater and Nolan County, including several veterans of our military and State District Judge Glen Harrison, local criminal defense lawyers Trey Keith, Chris Hartman and John Young read the entire Declaration of Independence on the courthouse steps Thursday before the Annual Independence Day parade. County Judge Tim Fambrough introduced the reading with comments about the Declaration and the significance of the document to our Nation. "The founders of this great country expressed their dissatisfaction with the King of Great Britain in the Declaration, The Declaration of Independence was the spark that ignited the flame of Democracy that has spread across this nation and around the world," said Fambrough.
"The Declaration of Independence is the foundation of principle upon which our individual liberties as Americans are based, said Young. "This Declaration, written and adopted 237 years ago today, requires participation in our society by all Americans and reminds us that today, as in 1776, all government, local, state and federal, derives its power and authority from the people of this Nation; or as the Declaration states, 'with the consent of the people'. It is our responsibility as a society, as a nation, to protect and defend our freedom and liberty."
Trey Keith added, "It is the responsibility of each citizen to participate in society, to claim and assert their right to individual liberty, and to hold those in government accountable to the people who elected them. By this reading, we hope to raise awareness of this important responsibility."
Chris Hartman, a Roscoe native, agreed, "The Declaration of Independence set forth the right of each individual to hold government accountable to the people and to individual freedom of each citizen in our nation. I hope that this reminder will become an annual event for the citizens of Sweetwater and Nolan County."
One attendee, a veteran of the Korean Conflict said he had never read the entire Declaration and was "glad to hear it read out loud here at our courthouse". Another attendee noted, "...we don't take the time to remember the sacrifices that made our country what it is. I am thankful we have the right to get together and celebrate our independence."
The local 4th of July reading of the Declaration of Independence was coordinated with readings at over 50 county courthouses and other public buildings across the state and joined by other criminal defense attorneys in over 20 other states.
Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (TCDLA) is a state-wide organization of lawyers committed to protecting and ensuring by rule of law and the individual rights guaranteed by the Texas and Federal Constitutions in criminal cases.