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Lamont creates a committee to celebrate 250 years of America’s independence

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signing an executive order to plan federal observances of the anniversary of American independence.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signing an executive order to plan federal observances of the anniversary of American independence.

Emphasizing the important role Connecticut played in the founding of America, Governor Ned Lamont announced the creation of a commission to plan the state’s celebration of the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which is four years away.

Lamont said he wants the members of his commission to focus on promoting Connecticut as a tourist destination for American Revolution history.

“You want somebody who can give you some good ideas, how to get young people involved, and understanding the meaning of 250 years of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, later on in order to form a more perfect union,” Lamont said. “We’ll never hit the finish line. We have more work to do, and I think that's what July 4 reminds us.”

The commission will develop celebrations and activities to recognize the historical, social, cultural and political forces that led to the American Revolution. It will also provide assistance to Connecticut towns, cities and nonprofit organizations to help with their own projects and activities surrounding the anniversary.

The commission will support educational opportunities for students and the public who want to explore the founding period of the United States. In Connecticut, it’s required that every student graduating from high school must have a course in civics before they graduate.

Denise Merrill, the former Secretary of the State, said she hopes Lamont appoints her to the commission. She said that having a commission is a chance for everyone to not only have a civics lesson, but also to review the history of Connecticut and America.

“This time, we can retell it, we can include everyone, and that is what this commission is about,” Merrill said. “I hope that we will also be able to involve every single town in this state, because there are so many stories about what went on in Connecticut and about the people who were involved in making all this happen.”

The commission will submit its recommendations in January. The goal is to work with other state and national organizations on the activities. Each subsequent year, the group will submit an annual report that includes any updates on the action plan, performance benchmarks and related deadlines and schedules.

Natalie is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.