Credit: Hayley Bartels, Barry Gordemer, Rebecca Sell, Erica Yoon/NPR
We often celebrate Independence Day with backyard barbecues and fireworks, forgetting the document that started this whole country: the Declaration of Independence.
For the past 20 years Morning Edition has asked NPR hosts and reporters to read the document on the Fourth, as a reminder of our country's history. This year, we decided to ask visitors at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to give it a try.
After our readers familiarized themselves with the Declaration, we asked what independence meant to them. Many started with broad statements, but then gradually talked about freedoms that were the most important to them.
Declaration Of Independence Readers (In Order Of Appearance)
Row 1: Stewart Merriam, Logan, Utah; Darwin Danks, Watertown, N.Y.; Emaan Khan, Austin, Texas. Row 2: Mildred Cobbinah, Kansas City, Mo.; Jean Hebert, Chippewa Falls, Wis.; Ted Cai of Houston.
Hayley Bartels, Rebecca Sell, Erica Yoon/NPR
Row 1: Maryam Saif, Austin, Texas; Michael Dubberly, Savannah, Ga.; Nadine Pourier-Blumenshine, Fresno, Calif. Row 2: Timothy Jon Eaton, Kingsport, Tenn.; Kara Milton, Greensboro, N.C.; Thomas Horsley, Boston.