Vietnam Veterans of America Big Bend Chapter 96 hosted its fifth annual reading of the Declaration of Independence, featuring a Benjamin Franklin re-enactor in period costume. Dozens gathered for the July 4 celebration, held in front of the Florida State Capitol building in Tallahassee.
“You get a sense of place, a sense of history [with] the full makeup and costume and on the steps of the historic capitol,” onlooker Thomas Croom told WCTV-TV. “It gives you a real sense of what Philadelphia might have been like on that day that they were on the steps announcing their declaration.”
“This is the document that got everything started,” said chapter member Joe West, who portrayed Ben Franklin. “Fifty-four individuals signed a document and basically bet their lives and everything they owned to break their reign from Great Britain and become an independent country.”