There was something fitting about reading the Declaration of Independence in the rain, this year, at the Doughboy statue in Tiverton. A smaller crowd of about twenty joined organizer Susan Anderson to keep up the tradition of taking turns reading from the document on this day each year.
At times, the rain was so loud on the umbrellas that the voices were as whispers — wisps of freedom’s memory in the gathering din of tyranny. From time to time the stream of words was punctuated with exclamations about the relevance of the Founders’ protests to our government today.
Analysis of the founding documents of the United States of America tends to present the Declaration as the expression of the positive spirit of the nation, with the Constitution providing the structure in which those principles might be maintained. As raindrops smeared the ink, it emerged that the Declaration does its own work to buttress its principles by describing exactly what the revolutionaries opposed. Specifics might require translation over time, but in the list of complaints, the signers painted for their progeny a picture of the actions of which to beware.
A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.
Through the sunny days of long-established democracy and liberty, a people can forget what the clouds portend, if not for whispers and wisps among friends.