The words of the Declaration of Independence rang out at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox yesterday, North Adams Mayor Thomas Bernard recited: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights."

The Berkshire Eagle  reports Ken Werner, chairman of the theater group's board of trustees, recited "that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

The two men were sharing the spotlight yesterday afternoon reading, arguably, the most famous line from the Declaration of Independence. State Rep. Smitty Pignatelli said that the words are as poignant today — maybe more so — as they were almost 250 years ago. Pignatelli, Bernard and Werner were among the 50 people from across the Berkshires speaking a line or two from the 243-year-old document that would be the rallying cry for colonial America to break away from England.

The celebration included free food. Visitors got a taste of the new version of The Williams Inn, which served up about 1,500 grilled hot dogs, 45 pounds of pulled pork sliders and 5 gallons of vegetarian tofu chili, according to chef Kevin DeMarco.