KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – To the familiar Revolutionary tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy, color guard members of Sons of the American Revolution marched their way inside the historic James White Fort in downtown Knoxville.
At the annual Fourth of July event, children read the names of all 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. The grievances against the king written by Thomas Jefferson in the historic document were also read aloud.
“I get goosebumps when I talk about it. The forefathers of this country. They chose their God. Chose to believe that God gave man an inalienable right,” said John Clines, SAR, Color Guard commander.
The commemoration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence was aimed at the kids as they learned about one of the most significant documents ever written in the history of the world.
“The Declaration of Independence tells me about freedom and democracy,” said fifth-grader Nataleigh DeBusk. “I learned that from my wonderful dad.”
“I believe if they don’t understand where we came from as a country, if they don’t understand we did not have freedom, then they will not fully appreciate what our ancestors did for us,” her dad Brian DeBusk said.
The historic fort did not exist in 1776, but the man for whom it’s named did.
“James White was a captain in the Revolutionary War in a North Carolina regiment in Irdell County, North Carolina. For his service he was awarded 8,000 acres which you are standing on right now, all of Knoxville,” said Executive Director Sam Maynard.
Though the ceremony is over, what will never end is our remembrance of the sacrifices that have made this nation strong.