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Patriots gather to celebrate independence

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The July 4th celebrations kicked off one week early in Ottumwa Monday.

The 14th annual reading of the Declaration of Independence took place at Sycamore Park Shelter.

The event was sponsored by the Wapello County Republicans.

The crowd was treated to an ice cream social and watched as various members of the group stood up to read parts of the Declaration of Independence.

Dave Gordy, dressed as a colonial style patriot, presented a motivating speech highlighting why America declared independence from the British.

“This is the birth of who we are, the building blocks that brought us from over 200 years to where we stand today,” said Gordy.

Those in attendance were also given the opportunity to sign a large copy of the Declaration of Independence, in similar fashion of the forefathers 241 years ago.

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