The grand opening for a special outdoor display of replicas of historical American documents is postponed until later this summer, due to inclement weather this week.
The Charters of Freedom, Foundation Forward Inc. and the Raeford Downtown Beautification Committee broke ground March 5 on “Freedom Park” at the corner of East Central Avenue and North Main Street. The Charters of Freedom display features replicas of important documents including the Declaration of Independence, and pages from the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The construction has wrapped up, and the display was ready to open this week, but due to inclement weather the outdoor venue’s grand opening will now happen sometime in August.
Foundation Forward resources and communications director Michael Unruh notified the media about the postponed opening.
“We regret to report that we have had to postpone the ceremony which was scheduled for today at 2 p.m.,” Unruh wrote Monday in an email. “We were looking forward to this patriotic celebration involving local dignitaries, the All-Veterans Parachute Team, and area musicians. However, the committee and all involved believe that it is in the best interest of the community to postpone this event to a later date.”
The group is working to reschedule for sometime in early August, Unruh wrote.
The “Charters of Freedom” project got its start nearly 10 years ago when Vance and Mary Jo Patterson of Morganton visited Washington, D.C. and were touched to get to visit historic documents on display at the National Archive. It made them realize that many Americans never get the opportunity to travel to the nation’s capital and have similar experiences. In response, they created Foundation Forward with the goal of putting “Charters of Freedom” monuments, including replicas of those historic documents, in communities across the country.
Several Hoke County Commissioners met Foundation Forward representatives at a convention and expressed interest in the possibility of bringing one of the displays to Raeford. The organization joined forces with the city and county to build the display. The city and county both contributed over $50,000 toward the project for construction and installation of the monument.
The project will also include a time capsule buried underneath the display, containing items from Raeford and Hoke to capture a snapshot of the community in 2020. The time capsule will be opened on July 4, 2076, the 300th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.
For more information on the nonprofit Foundation Forward, visit https://chartersoffreedom.com.