Photo Gallery | July Fourth Events

OLD BENNINGTON — Over 60 people occupied the circle at the base of the Battle Monument on Monday to hear reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Mike and Phyllis Chapman live one mile away from the actual Bennington Battlefield site in New York. Mike Chapman dressed as Stephen Fay from the Catamount Tavern, a landmark for the Green Mountain Boys.

"I learn just as much from others than they learn from me," Phyllis Chapman, historic interpreter said. "One of the best things we have is this history."

Children played old-fashioned games, and others toured the land or inside of the monument.


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Hubert Gong attended the talk with his wife and parents, who were visiting from China. Gong lives in Connecticut and has visited the majority of New England.

"I've never experienced the middle range of New England," Gong said. "I love the Green Mountains. I've been here before, but it's my parent's first time. I'm learning a lot of history."

Although the senior Mr. Gong doesn't speak English, he managed to say 'U. S. A.' and gave a thumbs up. He also insisted on a photo with Phyllis Chapman.

Before the reenactment, Gong took his parents to the Vermont Veterans Home because his father works in health care in China and wants to learn how to better care for the country's growing older population.

Traditionally, local actor Willy Jones reads the declaration, but he was unable to make it this year.

—Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.


Mike Chapman dressed as Stephen Fay from the Catamount Tavern, reads from the Declaration of Independence on July Fourth at the Bennington Monument.
Mike Chapman dressed as Stephen Fay from the Catamount Tavern, reads from the Declaration of Independence on July Fourth at the Bennington Monument. (makayla mcgeeney—bennington banner)