This year’s 4th annual reading of the Declaration of Independence at Valparaiso’s 4th of July music and fireworks celebration was the best yet, thanks to the WWII vet, the lawyer, the pastor, the city councilman and the whole bunch of students and teachers who took part.
Readers ranged in age from 95-year-old veteran John Wolf to 8-year-old elementary school student Rosa Cohn. Co-leaders of the event were Brian Williams and Scott Cvelbar.
Special thanks to readers Kay Frataccia and Ben Lieske for recruiting young readers from the city’s middle schools and high school. These included Mona Sehgal, Malika Saxena, Isaiah Smith, Amber Tan, Abby Wester, Mercedes Farias, Ollie Grcich, Megan Bentley, Madie Miltenberger, Ebone Ivory, Kevin Tognetti and Ian Norris.
Also reading were Victoria Ubben, Jane Strayer, Jon Groth, Annalee Cvelbar, Scott Cvelbar, Joey Larr, Kevin Kerr, Ric Frataccia and Darlene Cohn.
Thanks for their support of the reading also go to Dan McGuire and John Seibert at the Department of Parks & Recreation and Mayor Jon Costas.
The biggest thank you goes to the event’s co-founder, Valparaiso University professor Alan Bloom, who passed away in the last year. Alan lives on through the Declaration reading, as well as so many other initiatives across the city.