MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- The City of Mount Vernon will host the annual July 4 Independence Day celebration at St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site, 897 South Columbus Avenue on Saturday.
Originally located on the Village Green of the Town of Eastchester, St. Paul’s Church is famous for its connection with the patriotic printer John Peter Zenger and the establishment of an American free press.
A pre-program concert will begin at 10:30 a.m. A formal program will begin at 11 a.m. with greetings by Mayor Ernest D. Davis. A keynote address will be delivered Ronald Tocci, director of the Westchester County Veterans Service Agency.
Tocci, former commissioner for Veterans Affairs for New York State, served from 1966 to 1968 as a paratrooper for the U.S. Army in the 82nd Airborne Division and served on the Westchester County Board of Legislators for four consecutive terms and in the New York State Assembly from 1984 to 2004.
He is widely known for spearheading policy changes that address veterans concerns and is the recipient of the National Distinguished Service Medal presented by the New York State Department - American Legion.
John P. Banning Jr., will read the Declaration of Independence as his father and grandfather did before him, and the church tower bell will toll 13 times as he reads the signatures of the representatives of the original 13 United States. The public is invited to attend.
For the convenience and comfort of visitors, it is suggested they bring lawn chairs. Refreshments and tours of the historic church, built in 1787, and its Bill of Rights Museum will be available free of charge afterward. Refreshments will be served. The Mayor’s Independence Day Committee is chaired by Rosemarie Cornacchio.
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