The Fourth of July is always the one holiday which is closest to the reason for having a militia, for remembering our forefathers, for taking to heart what “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” really means,and for honoring those men and women who are pledging their “sacred honor” for our way of life and freedoms.
The Washington County Regiment celebrated the Fourth of July at their muster between July 3 through the 4th, 2010. The Militia and the Watauga Valley Fife and Drum Corp headed the Independence Day Parade in Elizabethton and gave a grand showing – three lines of militia and full width of the street. I can only imagine that they looked as wonderful as they did marching up the hill to battle at Guilford Court House earlier in the year. After the parade, the members adjourned to the fort where colors were hoisted, inspection was done and life in the 18th century was recreated. The attendees on Saturday said the park was full of public, asking questions and celebrating liberty at 2 PM when a runner delivered to Mr. Carter the announcement of the signing of the Declaration. It was read and Mr. Carter spoke about what it meant to the people of the frontier.
Sunday arrived hot and clear and was an easy day and a basic repetition of the day before. At 10, set to the music of the Fife and Drum Corp, the British colors were raised and inspection was held. At 11 AM, Captain Bogart conducted the worship service. This one was particularly good as, through him, one could hear the voices of the likes of Samual and John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Washington, Patrick Henry and others who discussed the Christian principles on which this nation was founded. From about mid-day on, the park was full, a steady stream of visitors. What I thought interesting that there were more people from out of state and even as far away as Romania and Hungary who visited the site. One family from Illinois was here on vacation. They are living historians connected with Fort DeChartes and said they found us by looking for things of interest in the area on the internet and read our blog . They stayed the whole afternoon and really enjoyed the site. Speaking of living historians, I got to meet the newest member of the staff, interpretive ranger Jeffrey Johnson. He’s from West Tennessee and is doing a summer program at the park.
At 2 PM, again, Mr. Carter (Chad Bogart) welcomed the runner (Jason Davis) who read the Declaration. The militia celebrated the signing with the raising of the American colors, shot and a massive huzzah and Mr. Carter spoke to the public. Afterwards, there was lemonade and light refreshments for all who attended.
Thanks to Ronnie for the pictures and Sherry for the Elizabethton Star link.
Elizabethton Star’s PhotoJournal of the Parade:
What the Declaration really means- an EXCELLENT VIDEO TO WATCH