Members of the Tamaqua American Legion, Sons of the American Legion and Auxiliary held their annual "Let Freedom Ring" ceremony Wednesday at the Tamaqua Depot Square Park. The colliery bell, originally dedicated on May 5 20004, in Depot Square Park rang a symbolic 13 times to honor the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
The ceremony was part of a nationwide ceremony, held each year on the fourth of July, to honor the original 13 colonies. and to celebrate and honor those who helped achieve America's independence during the American Revolution.
Ed Rummel, co-founder of the local event, rang the bell during the service.
The national ceremony began with an official act of Congress in 1963, and this will be Tamaqua's fourth year of participation in the national tribute. The colliery bell, which was once at the No. 9 Mine, was donated by the John Schock and his family of Tuscarora in memory of Norman and Anna Schock. It came from one of the original Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company collieries in the Panther Valley and is a relic from the days when coal was king in the area. In 2002, the bell was mounted on a steel framework by which was custom made and donated by the employees of Remaly Manufacturing of Tamaqua who have made steel fabrications for the coal mining industry in Tamaqua since 1865.
The framework was refinished compliments of Tom's Auto and Marine of Tamaqua and installed in the park by Tamaqua Borough workers. A two-ton chunk of anthracite coal, located below the bell, was donated by the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company and moved here compliments of Nardini and Son Contracting of Lansford. The chunk of anthracite serves as a lasting tribute to the coal industry which made this area famous and to all those who worked in and around the mines to make a living.