External Affairs Secretary marks US Independence Day

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Scotland’s External Affairs Secretary is to give a speech on Scotland’s 2014 referendum at the historic home of American independence.

Later today, Fiona Hyslop will speak at Independence Hall in Philadelphia where both the American Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted.

The External Affairs Secretary was invited by the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence (DSDI) to give a speech on the Independence Referendum at their annual meeting.

She will also join the Descendants at the Liberty Bell where young people from the DSDI will take part in a bell tapping ceremony.

In her speech Ms Hyslop will highlight that according to the US Senate, almost half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent.

Speaking before the event Ms Hyslop said:

“I’m honoured to be in Philadelphia to take part in what is a unique moment in American life and tradition and by the interest the DSDI have shown in Scotland’s journey.

“It is widely recognised that the US Declaration of Independence was influenced by Scotland’s Declaration of Arbroath and as a result our founding documents share common sentiments, values and aspirations for our two nations.

“With that shared philosophy the Descendants understand as well as anyone that the decision on Scotland’s future that we’ll make next year is rightly one for the people of Scotland to make.”

President-General of the DSDI, Lieutenant Commander John Glynn said:

“I’m directly related to Robert the Bruce and six direct ancestors who sealed the Declaration of Arbroath. We invited Fiona Hyslop to speak at our annual meeting because what happens in Scotland is important to me and other Descendants with Scottish ancestral blood flowing through our veins.”

In March 1998 the US Senate passed Resolution 155 declaring April 6th as Tartan Day.

The Resolution stated:

“The Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish Declaration of Independence, was signed on April 6 1320, and the American Declaration of Independence was modelled on that inspirational document.”…”… this resolution honors the major role that Scottish Americans played in the founding of this Nation, such as the fact that almost half of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent, the Governors in 9 of the original 13 States were of Scottish ancestry, Scottish Americans successfully helped shape this country in its formative years and guide this Nation through its most troubled times.”