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Celebrating Fourth of July at annual ceremony in Jamesport

The Greater Jamesport Civic Association celebrated Independence Day with a ceremony Saturday morning that featured several speakers and musical performances by a recent Riverhead High School graduate.

“We agree that as we come out of this pandemic, the ideal of freedom is especially relevant this Fourth of July,” said James Derenze, the president of the civic association. “We are free again to be with our loved ones without fear of infection. We’re free of mask mandates and can dine at our favorite local restaurants, sip wine at our great vineyards and shop at our favorite stores.”

He praised the health care and essential workers who rose to the occasion during the pandemic and said, “COVID-19 did show us that Americans stand together.”

Riverhead Councilman Ken Rothwell — speaking for Supervisor Yvette Aguiar, who was unable to attend due to another commitment — referenced a letter John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail. In it, Mr. Adams — one of the Founding Fathers and the second U.S. president — wrote that July 2 would “be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.”

“As we know, John Adams was a couple of days off, but his vision prevailed,” Mr. Rothwell said. “Let’s keep the vision alive for many years to come here in our own hometown.”

Town historian Georgette Case delivered a historical overview of the Declaration of Independence and noted how delegates from New York, Philip Livingston and Francis Lewis, didn’t sign the document immediately as they waited word from the state.

“It was only on July 9 [1776] that representatives Lewis and Livingston put ink on a feather and signed the Declaration of Independence,” she said.

John Newman introduced each speaker and served as the event coordinator. Ethan Lucas led the approximately three dozen people in attendance in signing “God Bless America.”

The Jamesport Fire Department drove two engines with lights and sirens on past the ceremony at the conclusion.