All across the country, bells were rung 13 times on Sunday afternoon to celebrate one of the most important events in our country's history: the signing of the Declaration of Independence by the 13 original colonies.
The bell-ringing tradition began with the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution, which began the "Let Freedom Ring" spirit of patriotism in 1969. The bell-ringing celebration began in Philadelphia, commemorating the tolling of the Liberty Bell to announce the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776. On June 26, 1963, the Senate and House of Representatives adopted a resolution for the National Bell Ringing Ceremony.
Usually, there is an honor guard firing 13 shots after the bell-ringing and the playing of Taps to conclude the ceremony.
I started the ceremony here in Tamaqua in 2008, and we had it again last year. What happened to it this year I do not know. I was at the bell and rang it 13 times at 2 p.m., but nobody else showed up, not even the Legion members.
The only one there when I was done was an elderly man, and when he asked what I was doing, I told him. He could not believe that no one else in town was there for it.
So be it, citizens of Tamaqua. I try to do my duty and no one else helps out. Is that the way this town is supposed to be?
Edward R. Rummel
World War II Veteran
2nd Armored Div.,