North Texas Daily

Denton County participates in historic statewide Declaration of Independence reading

Denton County participates in historic statewide Declaration of Independence reading

Denton County participates in historic statewide Declaration of Independence reading
July 02
21:35 2016

Matthew Reyna | Staff Writer

@bucko_rodgers

A reading of a historic American document became a footnote in Texas history on Friday, July 1, when Denton County joined every other county in Texas by hosting a reading of the Declaration of Independence.

The event, which for Denton occurred in front of the Denton County Courthouse, was unprecedented because this was the first time every single county in Texas participated in a public reading of the document.

Sarah Roland and Ben Hunsucker organized the event on behalf of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and its local branch, Denton County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

Roland said the effort was spearheaded by defense attorneys who value American liberty.

“It’s a defense lawyer initiative meant to promote awareness of what it means to be an American,” she said.

About 15 people, mostly lawyers, were in attendance, and a number of bystanders curiously watched by the entrance of the courthouse. Ten of the participants formed a circle and took turns reading America’s original former announcement to separate from Great Britain.

The readers reached the final words, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of our Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor,” in under thirty minutes. They also recited every name who signed the declaration, starting with Georgia’s Button Gwinnett and ending with Connecticut’s Oliver Wolcott.

Ben Hunsucker, president of the Denton County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, said it’s important for Texans to remember the contributions of the Founding Fathers during the three-day weekend and beyond.

“We are always quoting the Constitution and some of our values that we don’t necessarily think of every day,” Hunsucker said. “They should not be forgotten, especially the sacrifices from our forefathers.”

The group was pleased that all 254 counties participated this year, after only 139 counties participated last year, according to their website. They plan to host the event again next year and hope to repeat their historic feat.

“That’s a very important milestone – we actually had it read in every county at every courthouse,” Hunsucker said. “When they reached out and asked if we would make sure Denton was covered, we wanted to step up and make sure our organization was represented well.”

Featured Image: Members of  the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and its local branch, Denton County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association read America’s original former announcement to separate from Great Britain July 1 at the Denton County Courthouse.

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