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Port Chester Woman Reflects On Independence

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Goldie Solomon has witnessed many years of American history unfold and on the Fourth of July she will ask others to think back to the days when the nation was founded.

"[The Founding Fathers] were fighting for freedom," said Solomon. "Today we are a free nation."

Solomon is a local historian and curates many exhibits at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Library. She refers to one of her recent exhibits as "George Vs. George," which focuses on George Washington and King George III, of Great Britain, during the Revolutionary War.

Solomon will be at Port Chester's Fourth of July ceremony at the high school, dressed as a minuteman to speak about America's war for independence.

But there are a few things she feels strongly about that she won't be addressing in her speech on Monday.Solomon has a deep respect for the Bill of Rights and said she believes it should have greater acknowledgment.

"We have freedoms in this country that the government can't violate," she said, referring to the first ten Amendments. "There should be a national holiday on December 15. This is for the people."

She said she also believes there needs to be immigration reform and greater tolerance for those who wish to come to America.

"Not everyone is as free in other countries," said Solomon. "We have to support them."

Throughout her life, Solomon has served her country. During World War II she enlisted as a nurse and continued on working in the Port Chester school district. She is part of the American Legion veterans association and is an active community member at the Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.

Solomon came to Port Chester in 1948, following the end of the war, and was struck by the community's diversity. It sparked in her mind a curiosity that would flower into her love for history.

"When I saw people from so many different places, I wondered how we all got here," she said. "I thought to myself, I've got to find out more about this."

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