Dick Lindsay } The Berkshire Eagle
LENOX — On a sultry summer afternoon on the grounds of Shakespeare & Company, North Adams Mayor Thomas Bernard recited:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights ..."
"... that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," concluded Ken Werner, chairman of the theater group's board of trustees.
The two men were sharing the spotlight Thursday afternoon reading, arguably, the most famous line from the Declaration of Independence.
"It's the line everyone knows," Bernard told The Eagle. "It's powerful to hear the written word spoken, and by all walks of life."
"The words are as poignant today — maybe more so — as they were almost 250 years ago," added state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli, D-Lenox.
Pignatelli, Bernard and Werner were among the 50 people from across the Berkshires speaking a line or two from the 243-year-old document that would be the rallying cry for colonial America to break away from England.
The recitation highlighted Shakespeare & Company's annual Independence Day celebration, appropriately titled, "We Hold These Truths," held in partnership with Multicultural BRIDGE.