By Teri Adams
Independence Day, 2014, proved to be a terrific anniversary year in two ways–the film America was introduced into the popular culture and, on a smaller, yet not insignificant note, the Independence Hall Foundation held its first July 4th event.
The Independence Hall Foundation offered an alternative ceremony on Independence Mall for those who would prefer to celebrate their July 4th with folks who truly believe in the blessings and greatness of America, and are not bashful about it.
While the official Philadelphia celebration included Vice President Joe Biden, along with Mayor Michael Nutter –and scant reference to, and praise of, our founding Fathers and Mothers–the Foundation’s Endowed by Our Creator July 4th Celebration featured WPHT talk-show hostDom Giordano, John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, and PA State Representative Richard Saccone, whose powerful messages saluted both the Declaration of Independence and the Founders.
(To read the highlights of the Biden/Nutter remarks, visit here)
The Foundation presented its 2014 Defender of Liberty Award to the Ukrainian People for their struggle against all odds to maintain their independence, just as our founding fathers and mothers did in 1776.
An emotional Natalia Shyrba, a leader of Razom for Ukraine, accepted the award on behalf of her compatriots.
The Foundation supports the right of the Ukrainian people to defend their national integrity and it encourages the US Government and NATO to supply Ukrainian Freedom Fighters with the weapons and other critical supplies they need to defend their nation’s Independence.
Last September, on the eve of the first anniversary of 2012 Benghazi Embassy attack, the Foundation named the four victims–US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods–as recipients of its 2013 Defender of Liberty Award.
In addition, the Foundation honored JD Mullane with the 2013 Franklin Award for Courageous Journalism; Donald Coughlan, with the 2014 George Washington Leadership Award; and Maria Hyland with the 2014 Betsy Ross Activist of the Year Award.
The Reverend Jesse Woods opened the event with a stirring prayer and Tory McClintock provided a moving rendition of the Declaration of Independence.
Megan Rath was on hand to welcome folks to Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District and Jeff Bell stopped by to discuss matters important to New Jersey and our nation.
As well, the Whitehall Guard Fife and Drum turned in a stellar performance–and Anna Little lit up the room with her inspired singing of The Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America.
The Foundation thanks presenters Brandon Posner, Carol Klein, Cort Rosholt and its terrific volunteers!
On a final note, the Foundation wishes to express its deepest appreciation to a very thoughtful and generous benefactor (who wishes to remain anonymous) for offering crucial financial assistance in the 11th hour of this program.
The unsolicited donation was a remarkable blessing that will never be forgotten!