James R. Hanby Sr., a magistrate judge from Wilmington, Del., returns to Augusta each Fourth of July for a birthday celebration with family and friends.
The trip yields twice the cake, twice the fun and twice the fellowship. In honor of being born on the same day America declared its independence, Hanby gathers with fellow patriots across the region at the Signers’ Monument in downtown Augusta to pay tribute to the country’s forefathers.
Hanby is once again inviting local residents to join him, at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, to read the Declaration of Independence and honor the men who “237 years ago gave us our great nation,” Hanby said.
“Augusta should be rightly proud of its connections to our Revolutionary War heritage and those that pledged ‘their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor’ to give us our great nation,” said Hanby, a 1989 graduate of Hephzibah High School whose grandfather served in the Army at Fort Gordon.
This year, the event will celebrate the dedication of the Signers’ Monument on July 4, 1848.
Two of the three signers from Georgia – George Walton and Lyman Hall – are buried beneath the monument.
The ceremony was discontinued in the late 2000s. Hanby resurrected it in 2011.