At the Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site, history buffs and vacationers alike took a moment to listen to a small portion of the nation’s history Saturday, June 30.
The annual reading of the Declaration of Independence connects the history of the Pemaquid region to the Fourth of July holiday.
“We want to remind folks that the holiday is not just hog dogs and parades,” said Don Loprieno, president of The Friends of Colonial Pemaquid. He led the 12th annual event dressed in attire of the late 18th century.
In regards to the Declaration itself, Loprieno hopes to have all come away with an understanding of “an important historical document and where we’ve met its expectations and promises.”
“The history is forgotten,” said Loprieno of the importance of both the area and the historic site. “Everyone knows about Pilgrims, but almost no one knows about Colonial Pemaquid.”
The event included information about the history of the Pemaquid area and a brief timeline of pre-Revolutionary events.
At the beginning of the reading, Loprieno introduced the Voices of the Past, who told the stories of famous and not-so-famous thinkers of the period leading up to 1776.
With David Brydges as John Carteret, Pat Kay as Abigail Adams, Claire Mocarski as Anne Hulton, and David Mocarski as Samuel Seabury, the voices had equal parts positive and negative responses to the ideas of revolution and a new nation. The narratives were woven into the reading of the Declaration to provide insight into the different mindsets of the time as well as context.
The 30 gathered people were taught the traditional “Huzzah!” chant and encouraged to respond to the voices as they saw fit.
Loprieno, toward the end of the event, said “one of the complexities of the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence are that it is still in its experimental state.”