There is no mystery surrounding the date that we in Merrick and North Merrick celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. We gather as we have for more than twenty years to read this important document -- line by line -- both young and old, and both resident and visitor.
The Historical Society of the Merricks, led by its president, Lawrence Garfinkel, will again be at the Gazebo in Merrick just north of the LIRR train station (and just west of Merrick Avenue) on July 4th at 10 am to keep this little but important "habit" alive.
In keeping with the mission of the Society there is always more to research about the specifics surrounding the document and the events as they unfolded. Long Island and, indeed, most of southern New York, including the city, was not entirely sympathetic to the revolution and did much to help the British commandment and troops while they were here. The area did have its pockets of Revolutionists and both sides needed to hear the words of the Declaration of Independence as it was delivered to the various communities.
We can imagine a morning in which the alarm was clanged in our Merrick area where farmers, merchants, and others, and their families, gathered to hear the words. We reenact that moment -- no loudspeaker, no ruffle of drums -- just a loud voice slowly reading the words -- the soaring words pledging a better tomorrow and including a scathing indictment of King George, the first official step in declaring independence in the face of perceived injustices.
Come and bring the children for an hour or so before you go about your July 4th celebration. It is a wonderful moment in the Merricks that make us unique. Also -- we are once again offering free bus tours of both Merrick and North Merrick after the reading -- two separate rides with the knowledgeable and affable Judge Jerry Medowar hosting the tours. Members of the Historical Society who have preregistered will receive first "dibs" on attending but there will be other seats available.