'Let Freedom Ring' Tamaqua Legion participates in nationwide July 4th ceremony
ANDY LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Pictured ringing the colliery bell 13 times is American Legion's 13th District Deputy Commander Ed Smith.
Members of the Tamaqua American Legion held a "Let Freedom Ring" ceremony on July Fourth at the Depot Square Park. The colliery bell 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. The public was also encouraged to attend the ceremony.
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 in Depot Square Park was donated by the Schock 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 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. Below the bell is a two-ton chunk of anthracite coal 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.