CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Before the barbecues and backyard parties, hundreds of people gathered in Downtown Charleston to celebrate the true meaning of Independence Day.
Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, along with the Washington Light Infantry, and others from the Old Exchange Building, gathered on the historic steps on East Bay Street, and commenced in reading the Declaration of Independence.
Hundreds gathered below as part of the morning celebration, followed by a march to St. Phillips Church, where Infantry members placed a wreath on Edward Rutledge's grave, one of the men who signed the Declaration.
"I come every year that they've been having it and my heart just pitter patters," said Phyllis LePrince, of Charleston.
This year marks the 239th anniversary of the document, declaring freedom from British rule, instead birthing the United States of America.