The Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, also known as the Civil Rights Amendments, are coming to the Town of Orange. Well, in lieu of the actual documents themselves, bronze, life-size replicas of the originals will be arriving.
Orange County Supervisors, the Orange Town Council, local organizations and members of the community are working with Foundation Forward, Inc. to bring these important replicas to Orange. Foundation Forward installs the founding documents, known as the Charters of Freedom, in easily accessible locations so communities can view them without traveling to the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
The documents will be permanently installed in March 2022 outside of The James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage, located at 129 Caroline Street, in Orange. This prominent location provides high visibility, high foot traffic, and easy access by school children and the community of Orange County. The installation is a gift to the Orange County community from Foundation Forward. Funds raised by other communities will pay for the Orange installation. Funds Orange County raises will help “pay-it-forward” to fund an installation in another community.
Orange County will be the second community in Virginia to permanently install the Charters of Freedom setting and the first to include the Civil Rights Amendments in the installation. Permanent settings are being installed across the country by the Foundation Forward, a 501 (c) (3) educational foundation created by Vance and Mary Jo Patterson of Burke County, NC. Currently there is only one other community in Virginia to host the Charters of Freedom. Culpeper dedicated its Charters of Freedom installation in November 2020. After Orange, the foundation will complete settings in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, before returning to Virginia.
The new Charters of Freedom setting also will include both legacy pavers and donor plaques. Information is available at the museum as well as on its website (www.thejamesmadisonmuseum.net) and the Facebook Page for the Orange County Charters of Freedom (www.facebook.com/OCChartersofFreedom ). For questions, more information or for those who would like to participate in this patriotic project, contact the museum at (540) 672-1776.