It’s early (or late) to talk about Independence Day, but think of this as your hint of what’s coming up next year.
On July 4, 1776, our first VP John Adams announced that our nation’s independence should be celebrated with the ringing of bells. For decades afterwards, bells were a source of celebratory sound on Independence Day in the young United States of America. Fireworks too enhanced the celebration from the beginning, but while they persist in today’s patriotic displays, the ringing of bells on the 4th of July has dwindled.
It is a lost opportunity, though, to leave silent our potent symbols of liberty on Independence Day. Advocates have tried to bring back the tradition. Eric Sloane’s and Eric Hatch’s efforts convinced President John F. Kennedy to command the ringing of bells on the 4th of July in 1963 and beyond—“Let’s Ring Freedom Bells!” Carmella LaSpada, who worked as a White House aid from 1962 to 1971 and founded the No Greater Love Foundation, has also rallied for a renewal of this tradition. Progress has been sporadic on this front. There is no nationwide tradition of bell ringing—yet.
The City of Bells organization in the Twin Cities of Minnesota successfully united their communities to ring bells for Independence Day in 2019. And now, Rebecca Jorgenson Sundquist, their leader, wants to scale up to bring back this tradition nationwide. I’ll be helping them—and I’m thrilled to do so!—as well as other bell organizations across the country. We’ll be using our marketing and PR might to bring back this lost custom so fitting for our country that values liberty.