Freedom Shine installed at Phoenix Row | haver hill

HAVERHILL — A collection of 30 of the most important and historic American documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Gettysburg Address now grace the walls of the lobby at Phoenix Row in downtown Washington Square.

The Haverhill Exchange Club recently installed its newest Freedom Shrine inside this senior housing building run by Bethany Communities.

“The Freedom shrine is a way to pass down the oral history of our founding fathers and is another point for families to connect,” said Exchange Club President Eva Montibello. “The residents at Phoenix Row have time to ponder and read the documents, which often become a point of conversation for families.”

Montibello said a woman living at Phoenix Row wore a scarf in the design of the American flag to the dedication while several veterans living at Phoenix Row said they were proud to be part of the event.

Representatives from the Greater Haverhill and Merrimack Valley chambers of commerce attended the event along with representatives from Bethany Communities and others who participated in a ribbon cutting for the Freedom Shrine.

“The quality of conversations that families have after viewing Freedom Shrines is very powerful,” Montibello said.

In addition to the latest Freedom Shrine installation at Phoenix Row, displays are also located in Haverhill City Hall, at Haverhill High School, the Haverhill Public Library, the Haverhill campus of Northern Essex Community College (Spurk Building), Sacred Hearts School in Bradford, Mission Towers – Bethany Communities on Water Street, Whittier-Vo-Tech, Methuen City Hall and at the Pollard School in Plaistow.

Developed by the National Exchange Club, the Freedom Shrine originated from the Freedom Train that toured the nation in 1947, carrying an exhibit of historical documents.

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